My daughter's journey with eczema
My daughter Avya was two weeks old she developed eczema on her face and in the creases of her elbows and knees.
She would often scratch until her arms bled and then wake in the morning with blood on her sheets. As a parent it’s heartbreaking to see your child suffer.
I felt helpless and ... a bit embarrassed that I could not help her.
When Ayva was ten months old, a nurse from the local Early Childhood Centre, who had seen Ayva a few months earlier, exclaimed, ‘Has your child STILL got eczema?’
I thought 'What a rude comment, eczema is a genetic condition and what could I do about it?'
I was a nutritionist and had not considered looking beyond the prescribed treatments for my baby, which included topical steroids and thick ointments.
The nurse advised me to avoid salicylate-rich foods and teething gel as salicylates can worsen eczema.
It was a light bulb moment... One of those moments I'll never forget.
I thought to myself 'I know how to fix that!' You see, I had previously suffered from salicylate sensitivity (when I gargled Aspirin and my throat swelled up, and I was sensitive to perfumes and scented products to name a few), but I had found a solution when I studied nutritional biochemistry.
We also did some allergy testing, as recommended by our doctor. A skin prick allergy test revealed she had food allergy, however, avoiding walnuts and dairy did not fix her eczema.
The test revealed she also had a dust mite allergy. So we packed away all her fluffy toys as they harbour dust mites. So she had nothing soft to cuddle at night, only hard plastic toys.
Playing on the grass, swimming in a pool and patting the family cat inflamed Ayva’s skin from head to toe, so our cat was sent to grandma’s house and swimming lessons were cancelled.
We then put her on a standard low salicylate diet, which was the most helpful out of everything we tried. But then she went to a children's party and ate some junk food and her eczema returned.
By the time Ayva was two she was growing resentful about being different from her friends. So I promised myself I'd help her.
With my love of nutritional biochemistry and after months of research, I devised an eczema diet and supplement for her. Within two months, to my surprise and excitement, her eczema gradually disappeared.
Friends and family were skeptical and said “Ayva’s grown out of her eczema”. I thought they might be right so I stopped giving her the supplement and her eczema soon returned. When she resumed taking it, her eczema gradually went away.
I wasn’t convinced it would work for everyone and I didn’t consider making the product for my eczema patients until one of my patients insisted. The woman had suffered with severe eczema from head to toe for about 50 years. She had been following The Eczema Diet for months, with some success but about 15% of her eczema persisted. Then during a follow-up consultation she said “Can you make me the supplement you gave to your daughter”. So I ordered one for her and the rest of her eczema soon cleared up. She was thrilled.
Since then I have prescribed it to my patients at the Eczema Life Clinic in Sydney, and the formula has evolved.
This year my daughter Ayva turns sixteen and she has beautiful skin.
It has been a fifteen-year journey. And while the eczema was painful for my daughter (and the family!), it taught us a lot about being healthy, the low chemical way.
TOP PHOTO: Ayva with her Grandma (Ayva has mittens on her hands to reduce the damage caused by scratching)
Note: Before and after photos have been removed to comply with TGA regulations.