4 Things to Avoid When You Have Eczema

part four of a four-part blog series


Some of the greatest lessons I've learned in overcoming eczema are the very things I’ve shared with you here, here and here. Today's post though is probably my favourite of this series. What to avoid when you have eczema. If there were only four things I could’ve removed from my own experience, it'd be these four. 


4 Things To Avoid When You Have Eczema

  1. Place all your hope in a jar. Oh gosh, did I do this. I’m sure you have too. It’s your skin after all. You just want the problem to go away. Quickly! But here's the thing, focusing solely on creams and ointments as an answer to long term relief isn’t going to help. You may get temporary relief, but you’ll always need to have said cream on standby. The root problem with eczema often lies in your gut. By ignoring #2 and #3 below and placing all your hope in a jar, eczema will keep showing up for you. 
  2. Compare yourself to others. One of the greatest ways to manage eczema is to keep stress to a minimum. Partly because stress plays a big part in how well our digestive system functions. When we’re stressed, our digestion shuts down and our food is left undigested. This increases inflammation, creating the perfect environment for gut health problems that cause eczema.  I remember comparing my skin to other's all the time. 'How come everyone else has great skin except ME?’ I’d wonder. Often out loud.

    Not only did this add to my stress but it caused me to believe there was nothing I could do about my situation. It made me feel like a victim. Powerless. Then I focused on what wasn’t right instead of what I had to be grateful for. 

    Our thoughts have a profound effect on how our digestive system works. A positive and determined mindset will help you immensely. This leads me to my next point...
  3. Ignore your thoughts. If your thoughts aren't healthy the rest of you won’t be either. Our mind and gut are in constant communication. What we choose to think about impacts the health of our gut. Chronic stress, worry and focusing on the negative, makes it incredibly difficult to have a healthy gut. So you need to manage those thoughts. Without being mindful of what you're focusing on, before you know it, your mind is back in 1992 or last Saturday night. It’s a total energy + mood suck right?!

    It can be as simple as reminding yourself of a few positive thoughts every day, or making small changes to your environment so life feels more glass half full than glass half empty. 

  4. Sit on the sidelines. No one knows your body better than you. The person most invested in the health of your skin has to be you. It took me awhile before I figured out that no one was more invested in me than me. And when I did, I stopped sitting on the sidelines hoping for my situation to be different and took a lead role in managing the health of my skin.

    I collected a team of health professionals to help me get the results I wanted. It took a few trial + errors before I found the team I’d rely on to help me. I asked a lot of questions with those I worked with. I asked myself if what they were saying made sense to me. If it didn’t I kept asking questions until it did. You should do the same. If those you reach out to get annoyed by your Qs, they’re probably not the best people to have on your team. Or they may not understand the issue well themselves. The quote "if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough" really rings true here. 


This is more than wanting to have gorgeous skin. For sure it may start out this way. For me, though it definitely started out as my main motivator, the health of my skin became so much more.

Learning about your health and your body (from all those Qs you’ll be asking) ;) is empowering. You start to get this sense of accountability towards how you choose to take care of you. Once you start seeing positive results, you’re more motivated to continue. 


So there you have it. Covered in four posts, my best tips when it comes to overcoming eczema and getting back to gorgeous skin. 

Now I’d love to hear from you. Share with me one thing you’ve noticed helped your skin once you stopped doing it.


To gorgeous skin,

read part one of the four-part series here
read part two of the four-part series here
read part three of the four-part series here


What Causes Eczema?

What Causes Eczema

part two of a four-part blog series


Nothing is more disconcerting than feeling self-conscious and (literally!) uncomfortable in your own skin.


I didn’t know why it was happening. I just knew that I wanted it to stop. Without clear-cut answers on the cause, I felt like I was grasping at straws trying anything and everything to make my eczema go away. 


Hippocrates said all disease begins in the gut and in my studies over the years I’ve recognized that there’s a lot of weight to that statement.


One of the things I wished I would’ve known when I was struggling with eczema is what causes it, or even knowing how closely it’s linked to the health of my gut.


Today I wanna share my insights with you. So you might not have to suffer as much as I once did. 


Healthy Guts + Eczema

We have about 100 trillion bacteria in our body. Most of this bacteria lives in our gut. Having the right balance and ratio of good (friendly) to bad bacteria is important. This balance determines how well we process and break down food to fully absorb vitamins + minerals that our cells need to thrive. How well we break down and process food shows up in many areas of our health, including the health of our skin. At the root of this, a healthy gut balance supports a strong immune system, digestive system and our ability to manage inflammation. All three play a critical role in healthy skin. 


These good bacteria line our intestinal tract and are key at preventing our digestive cells from damage. One of the most common forms of that cellular damage is what’s called leaky gut syndrome. 


Strong Gut Lining + Eczema

To help keep our digestive lining strong, we have what are called tight junctions. These junctions are bonds that hold our digestive cells together, creating an impermeable barrier. This barrier comes in really handy when our digestive system is at work (when we’re eating). At certain times this gut lining can become weak or permeable. When your gut lining becomes permeable, you start to experience symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome. For many, this manifests as skin issues, including eczema. 


How Does Your Gut Become Permeable? 

Think of your gut lining like a window screen. When it’s properly installed, apart from air and dust, very little is coming through that screen. Imagine if the screen had a tear or hole in it. The screen is now permeable, allowing flies and other irritants to come in. This window screen is like your intestinal lining. When the lining is permeable, larger undigested food particles end up in your blood stream. Your immune system then goes on high alert, attacking these irritants because it treats those particles as foreign. And they are in a sense because undigested food particles don’t belong in your bloodstream.


Apart from genetics and environmental triggers like pollution, physical or emotional trauma, a leaky gut is the third and the most important factor that determines whether an autoimmune disease like eczema will manifest. 


What Causes Your Gut Lining to Break Down?

There are many factors. This is why the cause of each eczema case is challenging (but not impossible) to pinpoint and successfully treat. The key triggers to a leaky gut are chronic stress, dietary choices, antibiotics and other medications and allergies.


Our brain and gut are in constant communication. What happens to one affects the other. Stress disrupts our good to bad bacteria ratio in the gut. So if you’re stressing about an event, whether it’s something current or an old event stuck on replay in your mind, those stressful thoughts will impact the integrity and health of your gut just as much as your food choices. 


When your gut becomes permeable, you absorb less vitamins and minerals, which also contributes to the problem of eczema. We need vitamins and minerals to have a healthy immune + digestive system and manage inflammation which will support gorgeous healthy skin. 


Is it Possible to Repair a Leaky Gut?

It totally is. First recognize and then remove the things that are irritating your body, while your immune system is in that high alert, overreactive mode. These irritants can be anything from high stress environments or people, certain food items, etc.


Then to improve and strengthen your skin long term, rebuilding and rebalancing your gut health are also important. These steps will minimize eczema being an uncomfortable and problematic part of your everyday. 


Next up in parts three and four of this blog post series I’ll share what to do and what not to do when dealing with eczema. 


In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Was there an insight that hit home for you? Share with me in the comments below.


To healthy gorgeous skin,

read part one of the four-part series here
read part three of the four-part series here
read part four of the four-part series here