How I kicked eczema to the curb after 35 loooong years

By Alive & Well


I had eczema from the age of 2. During my teens it migrated out of the cracks of my elbows and knees and into any old spot on my body, including my face.

In my 20s it showed up anywhere, anytime – the unwanted house guest who didn’t know when to leave. In my 30s there were times when I was so red and raw that I looked like a burns victim – and I’m absolutely not exaggerating for effect. I could put a photo here, but that might be TMI (“Mum, TMI means too much information.” Thanks darling).

For almost all of that time, the only treatment I was offered was steroid creams – and over the course of nearly four decades, the amount I applied to my skin would fill a bath tub. Yes, gallons of steroids, absorbed continuously through my body’s largest organ, my skin. Even worse, a lot of the time they provided little or no relief, and certainly did nothing to address the underlying cause. But I had come to accept my periodic rashes as just a normal part of life.

Uncovering the root cause

That all changed when I started working with a wonderful integrative GP (aka holistic doctor or orthomolecular PCP depending on where you live) called Dr Robyn Cosford. We were there to restore Mr 8’s physical health, which we could see was contributing to his regression into Autism.

At one appointment, I asked her whether eczema was treatable, and she laughed with surprise. I now understand why – of course it is! Eczema was a signal of imbalance in my system, an underlying issue that hadn’t been addressed. I just had to work out exactly what was out of whack, and then take action to get it back into balance. And I did.

The answer for me was a combination of industrial-strength probiotics, a small amount of herbal medicine and a change in my diet – specifically, cutting out sugar, wheat and cow’s milk. My body just couldn’t handle them properly, so it was kicking them out in another – wholly unpleasant – way, i.e. detoxing through my skin in the form of eczema. Every eczema sufferer will probably have their own unique combination of effects.

Credit: Photoplasia

Like it or lump it, sugar was the key

The biggest problem was the sugar, both in terms of the effect it had on me, and my ability to remove it from my diet. Not easy. I love chocolate, and I descend from a chocolate-lover too. It’s in my genes! But after a few months without sugar, I was completely ezcema-free. It was a choice I wanted to make.

These days, I do indulge in a glass of champagne or a handful of (organic) chocolate every now and then and it doesn’t have any earth-shattering consequences. However, if I take both feet off my wellness wagon, I do so knowing that it will have consequences. The little red dots start coming up within hours. But I know what to do to get rid of them again.

Do you know anyone who suffers from eczema? What’s been their escape route?