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Warning: This post contains graphic photos of eczema. Not for the squeamish.
As many of you may know, I have suffered from eczema basically since birth. In the past three years it has taken over my life…literally.
Like many of you who suffer, I have tried just about everything…
- The typical corticosteroid ointments and creams (which we know do harm over the long term)
- Round after round after round of oral steroids (again, causing severe strain on the body and definitely NOT a long term solution)
- Various homemade concoctions (some helping at some times and some not)
- Allergy testing– environmental & food (apparently at the age of 32 I became allergic to 70+ food items and basically every blade of grass and tree known to (wo)mankind…oh, and paper…well, we know THAT’S not true)
- Complete change in diet (eliminating this, eliminating that, reintroducing this, yada yada yada)
- Coal tar (it’s an old wive’s tale that apparently does help some)
- Introducing new foods (kefir, probiotic foods, grass-fed this and that, homemade bone stocks, etc etc etc)
- Eliminating all toxins in my products (which really is a great thing I wish more people would do…which eventually lead me to one of the best things that has ever happened to me, my Pronounce Skincare line of products)
- Epsom salt soaks, bentonite soaks, soaking in cat litter…yeah…
- Wrapping myself in Saran Wrap (Oh, you haven’t tried that one? It’s great fun, let me tell you…)
- There are loads more…shall I continue?
You get the point. When you suffer from eczema that looks like what you see below you really do try just about everything.
Yup, that’s me. These pictures were taken just over one year ago.
Up until this week, I was looking much, much better…sporadically, but overall I was ‘better’. This was more thanks to my own research and ‘medical’ implementations than any doctor or dermatologist.
Two things that I know for sure about eczema…
- It sucks. It sucks really, really bad. If you have it, you know.
- You MUST treat the root CAUSE of the eczema, NOT the manifesting eczema itself.
Eczema is an immune system malfunction.
I like to say malfunction, not disease. I don’t know…it just makes me feel better.
You have to help your immune system. It is begging for help. MINE is begging for help.
So, those who suffer with severe eczema I beg of you…
Get Second Opinions!
Get third, fourth, fifth…you get what I am saying.
Please, find a doctor who will listen to you and treat you as a whole person and not be eager to simply write you a prescription for your symptoms (which is the eczema).
Did you know that dermatology is one of the fastest growing fields and those doctors are bringing in some of the biggest bucks in the medical field?
…incomes of dermatologists…rose 50 percent or more between 1995 and 2012, even when adjusted for inflation, while those for primary care physicians rose only 10 percent and lag for behind…
By 2012, dermatologists — whose incomes were more or less on par with internists in 1985 — had become the fourth-highest eraners in American medicine in some surveys, bringing in an average of $471,555…1
You know what I saw when I first walked into my old dermatologist’s office? A sign.
It didn’t say, “Welcome! Glad you are here.”
No, it advertised their specials for the month, “Botox is 30% off through the month of March!” “Lip injections are 50% off this week!”
…and what happens every time I go into a different dermatologist’s examination room (in the past 3 years alone I have seen well over 50)?
Blah blah have you tried this, blah blah have you tried that, blah blah here’s a prescription for a more potent topical steroid, blah blah wow…you need another round of oral steroids, blah blah we really need to get you on an immune system inhibitor, blah blah let’s do a long term oral steroid, blah blah BLAH!
The more I learn about the state of medical care in the USA, the more I learn about eczema, and the more I learn about my own body, the more frustrated and angry I become…all while feeling a sense of hope and optimism.
Crazy, huh!? Let me explain.
I am here to tell you that I will NOT be held hostage by mainstream medicine. Nope, no longer.
I have been on a journey for about a year now. It’s had ups and it’s had downs, just like many journeys we all go on in life.
In the past couple of months, my journey has taken some wild turns. I want to share them with you.
Am I ‘cured’? No, not cured.
Do I have a plan? Yes, I do.
I am working with an amazing DO and we are doing some pretty progressive things. I will share this journey with you, in hopes that it might help you in your own journey.
I want you to be educated and be able to ask your MD, DO, naturopath, etc etc etc questions.
Remember…through all of this…YOU are the patient and this is YOUR body.
Don’t you think you should have some say in what happens?
Because I am in quite a horrible state right now, we are trying a few different things. It’s the shotgun approach.
Throw a bunch of things at the eczema and see what sticks. We’ll reevaluate in a couple of months and see where we need to go.
First and foremost, I am starting something that I have actually kind-of put off.
I started GAPS today. It’s something I’ve know about for a long, long time, but have never implemented full-on. It started 100% today.
Wish me luck and join along with me for some gut healing, since we know that ALL disease begins in the gut. Send me an email or comment below if you’d like to join me on this journey!
I strongly recommend this book. I’d flipped through it and read a lot about it online, but am actually reading it cover-to-cover right now.
I highly recommend it. Click the book to learn more.
I am also using these wonderful resources. Cara knows her stuff and I am grateful that she shares it with us.
Luckily she is running a new year special through the end of this month, so you can get these resources at a discounted rate.
Click the book to learn more.
I won’t make this post any longer; it’s long enough.
I just had to start somewhere and get some of this off of my chest and out there for you to read and see where I am headed on my journey.
I will be back soon to finish explaining the shotgun approach.
I will, however, leave you with this one to research (if you like)…
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN).
Ever heard of it? Yeah, neither had I, which is weird since I’ve been loosely following a WAPF diet for about a year and that is where I found this information a couple of months ago.
Wanna know more now? I’d start with this excellent WAPF resource on LDN.
I’ll be back soon with a more complete explanation of this shotgun approach and why, through all of this, I am optimistic.
Meanwhile, I’d love to know…what else have YOU tried in YOUR eczema battle?
Until next time…
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy
PS I am not a doctor. Always seek advice from your own MD, naturopath, DO, etc etc etc.