My eczema (when I had it) was on my face, especially around my eyes, and it was on a couple of fingers, and my recovery seemed to be pretty quick while on the Eczema Diet. The initial recovery was a 3-month period of following the diet religiously and taking the supplements, going through the detox process to get my skin clear.
However, post my initial recovery I have since:
- had some set backs,
- seen some surprise flare ups,
- reintroduced foods and
- understood more about my patterns and triggers for eczema (post here).
So I thought I'd tell you about my latest eczema journey ...
It’s important to understand that the Eczema Diet (now The Eczema Detox) and the Skin Friend supplements give you the tools to recover from eczema, but they also give you that base line to understand your own personal triggers. This is important.
Keep in mind that your triggers may be different to everyone else. What sets off your skin may not have the same effect for someone else.
Handling thresholds for stage 2 foods and beyond
When I first went travelling about 6 months after recovery, I had a reaction that appeared and recovered almost immediately. It seemed my tolerance for foods not permitted on the eczema diet was low. Meaning, as soon as I transgressed, a reaction was visible. This was the same for recovery. Again eliminating those restricted foods and eating foods which were permitted and rich in nutrients, saw immediate results.
Further down the track I saw a different reaction with Zucchini. I loved Zucchini pre-Eczema and could eat mountains of the stuff. I had always wanted to reintroduce it and when I felt I was ready I did. However, I typically don’t do vegetables in moderation, and with this particular gourd I noticed that my tolerance point is only in the moderation zone. Having too much zucchini causes a reaction, when I ate more than 200grams of it.
This is fairly common with eczema sufferers. Having too much of a good thing can hit breaking point and bring on a reaction. If you have some favourite foods and try to eat them in excess you may also find something similar happening. If you have a reaction, test the amount you can tolerate. Start small, wait for a reaction, then increase the amount and do this gradually over time. Try anywhere from a quarter to half the original amount. If you do go over your threshold, wait for skin to clear and go back to the previous amount before the reaction occurred.
Understanding tolerance and how well the gut has healed
Still travelling along fairly well after my zucchini incident, I believe that my tolerance has increased somewhat and a reaction from a food I’m not yet ready for may take longer to appear. My body can withstand its sensitivities just that much more, causing those reactions to new foods to appear sometimes a few weeks later. This is what happened a month or so ago when I let loose on a festive period. My skin had been so good for so many months, and knowing I don’t have the same eczema panic when I wasn’t in control makes it that much easier to cheat. So I cheated.
My eyes were hit and a couple of fingers, new fingers that hadn’t been affected before. I even scored an allergic reaction in one of my eyes. It wasn’t fun and I wanted it gone. I went back to basics on the diet, upped my dose of Skin Friend AM and also cut out some other foods that were moderate in salicylates.
This time I’ve noticed that recovery time is a bit longer. But, that could be because I’m still learning about how my body reacts and how to manage these reactions. It’s taken me a while to work it out!
It took a couple of weeks for the reaction to dissipate, but the learning is still there and repeated consistent cheating does not have a good result for me.
Two key things I’ve learned over the past year is that my tolerance to certain foods does have a limit and I need to be mindful of that. The second thing is because tolerance is higher, a reaction may not be immediate. Guessing, checking and experimenting is the key to get back on the right path again. And as I come out on the other side with clear skin once again, it’s good to know I’m back in control.
If you’re at the beginning of the diet and having flare ups, see Healing Crisis – can your eczema get worse before it gets better?
If you have any questions, feel free to send an email or write a comment on the blog.
At Eczema Life, we recommend nutritionist Karen Fischer's low food chemical program (The Eczema Detox) along with additive-free supplements for skin health and wellbeing. Click on the images to view more details: