“There is no cure for eczema. To manage your skin condition, you should take antihistamine daily for the rest of your life.”
This is what my dermatologist told me when I was 21 years old – 2 months before I decided to heal my eczema naturally.
I am Kim, a nutritionist, and health coach in Toronto, Canada. I have a long family history of skin diseases and allergies. My mom suffered from chronic urticaria when she was young and completely recovered after she gave birth to me. My aunt in her late-thirties is still struggling with eczema.
As for me, I have been battling eczema for 20+ years: and started experiencing symptoms of topical steroid withdrawal in February 2019 when I decided to heal my eczema naturally. I am allergic to nuts, shellfish, gluten, dust mite, yeast, mold, and the list goes on.
This is my story
I started getting eczema when I was a baby. I had eczema, and visible bleeding and oozing wounds covered my face, neck, and folding areas of my body. It was extremely tough for my younger self because I did not have self-control when it came to scratching. My eczema condition was under control after two years of electro-acupuncture therapy when I was 12
Fast forward to August 2018, my skin started flaring up again. I got a referral letter to a dermatologist and started taking an antihistamine and using corticosteroid cream daily. In October 2018, my skin condition was once again stable with the help of medications. However, my skin started getting sensitive to wind. My face got irritated and developed hives whenever I
went out. I experienced two life-threatening anaphylactic shocks in October and December.
In January 2019, I received the blood test results and discovered a new allergy that I developed – wheat. As described by the immunology specialist, gluten is an allergen that can cause severe reactions, especially with exercise. It explained the anaphylactic shocks I experienced since I don’t get hives anymore after completely cutting off gluten from my diet. I was thrilled to find out I am allergic to gluten as I thought I could cure all my skin problems once and for all, yet
my skin was still having flare-ups.
How to start looking into other options
Looking at all the medications and steroids I was prescribed, I asked myself, “do I see myself taking them for the rest of my life?”. I started doing research online to learn from other’s successful healing stories. Knowing that it is possible to heal my eczema holistically and naturally motivated me. On February 20, 2019, I decided to stop the use of topical steroids and antihistamine to heal myself naturally.
I started experiencing topical steroid withdrawal thinking it was my eczema getting worse. After posting about my condition online in March, people from the TSW community reached out to me and I finally knew the reason behind all the redness, burning sensation, and itchiness. It wasn’t eczema. It was topical steroid withdrawal – a condition
that impacts a lot of eczema warriors but not widely addressed by dermatologists.
What I’ve done so far to heal my eczema naturally
I started documenting my journey on my blog (www.eczema.blog) and spreading positivity on social media to support anyone who is struggling with eczema and TSW. I share my recipes that are gut-healthy, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
My goal is to break the stigma that eating healthy means boring and bland.
I believe that making healthy food tasty is the key to develop healthy eating into a sustainable lifestyle. I also want to increase the awareness of eczema, because people suffering from skin diseases are more susceptible to mental health issues,
such as depression and anxiety.
Eczema and TSW are way more than the constant itch and rash. It also includes the pain that accompanied by the flare-ups, the disturbance of sleep that caused by intense itchiness, being self-conscious about the appearance of your skin, feeling discouraged and hopeless when treatment fails, feeling dysfunctional in life, etc.
As a nutritionist and someone who is having success with healing my skin and gut holistically, I am passionate to change the primary eczema treatment in the future and stop the prescription of topical steroids as the front-line treatment. Believe in the natural healing power of your body. I will keep fighting for a full recovery – and I hope you will too.