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HOW I HEALED MY ECZEMA NATURALLY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been dreaming about the day that I could finally write this post for well over a year.

I began blogging and doing youtube in 2016 and my plan was to do everything to do with fashion, lifestyle, and beauty. If you go to my old channel or read some of my older posts you will see where I was planning on taking it to and where I came from.

About a year after this, I had another baby - my beautiful daughter Maia; and it was in the months following her pregnancy that I began to embark on a healthier way of living and eating because I had mild patches of eczema on my hands and feet that just wouldn't go away.

I began on the Maker's Diet which simply spoke about switching to eating organic and nutrient dense foods. I swapped out all my chemical based skin care and beauty and began to make my own products, but little by little my skin got gradually worse. I thought that in a short matter of time I would be completely eczema free and my overall health and appearance would get better; but in reality I experienced the very opposite. If you have the time to go through the old videos on my channel you will see the deterioration of my skin and hair after every video following the birth of my daughter. At the time I didn't even notice there was a major issue.

Eczema began to travel from my feet all the way up my legs. Then it covered my stomach and arms, then angrily appeared all over my chest and neck. It was so raw and sore to the touch. I just didn't understand what was happening. It got to the point that I could no longer leave my house because the eczema was so itchy and weeping all over. If I put on clothes I would have to literally peel them off when I got back home, and I would scratch the skin until it bled because it itched like crazy.

It was around this time that I stopped posting on youtube and doing blog shoots because the eczema was so visible; I just didn't want people to see it.

chronic eczema

I think it all came to a head when over a number of days my face began to swell, and every day I woke up it was worse. I was due to start a new job in a couple of days but the Monday morning I woke up, my face was covered in rashes and my eyes were almost closing.

I had completely had enough. I was so scared that I canceled my first day at my new job and went straight to A&E. When the dermatologist finally came down to see me he was astonished as to how much eczema was actually covering my body.

I told him that I hadn't gone to the GP because I wanted to heal my skin naturally but he rubbished that away saying that eczema was a genetic auto immune disease. He told me that it cannot be cured - especially not through diet and the only thing that could 'manage' it and calm my skin down was steroids. Something I would apparently have to take for the rest of my life.

Although I was adamant I didn't want to use them, he spoke to me and my parents for over half an hour coaxing me to take the prescription, and it was the fear I had of seeing my body deteriorate even more that convinced me to take it.

Looking back it was literally the worst thing I could have done.

I was told to use a steroid cream called Elecon all over my body for two weeks twice a day. The first week of me applying the 'miracle' cream my body cleared up all over. Literally, my husband was amazed because my skin was as smooth as a newborn baby, and in all honesty the relief from the itching and soreness was amazing. In the second week - the palms of my hands began to bubble up as if I had been burned, and not long after that, I began to get black scales all over my scalp and forehead.

I called the dermatologist to tell him what was going on, and to my astonishment; rather than ask me to come in so he could at least see it, he told me to continue with the steroid cream and rather collect a further steroid shampoo from my GP. If that didn't work he would upgrade my treatment to taking steroids internally.

Although I had explained to him that this eczema was flaring up despite me using the steroids, he insisted I should continue. It was at this point that I made up my mind enough was enough and rather than get hooked on this steroid treatment, I was going to do everything I could to heal my skin naturally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I thought that in a short matter of time I would be completely eczema free

and my overall health and appearance would get better;

but in reality I experienced the very opposite,"

chronic eczema
chronic eczema

Fast forward almost a year and a half, and my skin is completely healed, barring a tiny patch on my left wrist about the size of a 50 pence piece. Even this bit is barely noticeable unless I point it out and it's as smooth as the rest of my skin was in the last stages before it went away.

I posted, about two weeks ago, the before and after of my skin on my twitter page, and before I knew it the posts had generated over 6,000 retweets.

I started to receive hundreds of DM's from people who were suffering from the same skin condition that plagued me for over a year and my heart literally broke. It was then that I realized there had to be more I could do to help people to overcome this disease. Even if it was for general support because I remember when my skin was at its worst I felt so incredibly alone - and at times I felt going to bed and not waking up was a better option than to live life constantly in pain.

Many people think of eczema and think it's just a dry skin condition, "put some cream on it and it will go away," but it's so much deeper than that.

Eczema is not an autoimmune disease at all, it is the result of the body struggling with a toxic overload. The bodies job is to cleanse and regenerate the skin and other areas of the body and organs, whilst eliminating the waste that constantly tries to invade it. When the body is overloaded with toxins, and the liver and lymph are unable to cleanse the body quickly enough, the body begins to push this waste material to the next and quickest exit out of the body, which is the skin. This is what causes lesions and eczema patches to erupt all over the body. Eczema is a symptom and the bodies' way of letting you know that something is out of whack.

Using steroids do absolutely nothing to quell the issue but rather it adds to it. I cannot even begin to explain to you the number of harmful chemicals that make up these prescribed creams, let alone the steroids itself within them. It seems to 'heal' when you use it because it prohibits the body's inflammatory response that causes eczema in the first place. What the doctor's failure to tell you is, that it also prohibits the bodies immune system from working properly. This means that whilst you are using any form of steroid, whatever is causing your body to have the inflammatory response is only made stronger because your body is no longer fighting it.

That is why, 9/10, when you stop using the creams the eczema comes straight back.

chronic eczema
chronic eczema

I could write for days on end about all the things I've learned regarding healing eczema naturally; which is why I've decided to start using the blog and youtube channel to document all of this information. There is so much I want to cover from why not to eat certain foods and how to make an amazing healing cream at home.

I'm not saying I'll never post about fashion or beauty again because it's still a huge part of my life and my career, but in all honesty there are enough blogs and channels about all of that, whereas there are thousands of people who suffer from eczema that need to know there is a way you can overcome it without the use of drugs and steroid creams.

The first thing I will say is that embarking on this journey of healing your eczema naturally is not for the faint-hearted. When I stopped using the creams altogether, the eczema came back as quickly as it had disappeared and was more weepy, flaky and itchy than I had ever experienced. When it was full blown my skin looked like I had escaped a major fire. It was almost torturing what I endured over the period of healing but the good news is that it did heal.

It may take a few months or up to a year to heal completely, but if you are consistent with giving the body what it needs, the skin will 100% heal itself. The body is so much smarter than these doctor's make out and despite what they claim, the body never attacks itself; it's merely telling you that something is wrong.

I've posted below a quick break down of tips and things I did and used to aid healing and I will continue to post every week; expanding on different areas and posting recipes in detail to help you through the process.

If you're reading this and you feel that you need extra support, please feel free to contact me on my email address or via Instagram. I won't be charging anyone for the advice I give, simply because when I needed that same support from other people I had seen go through this process; I couldn't afford the amount of money they were asking for and it made me feel even more hopeless.

What I will be doing though is collating all of my diary entries and experiences into a book that hopefully people all over the world will have access to. My only request is that you support it by reposting, tweeting and sharing the posts that feature on the blog so other people can read it.

On top of having three kids and a husband to look after, I work most days of the week, so if it takes a little while for me to reply please don't fret - I will always get back to you as soon as I can.

There's no one way to heal the skin but from my experience - this is the best way. The few people I have been working with have all seen amazing results with what I've told them. I did many things wrong before I found a routine and a diet that worked but feel free to experiment and try things out for yourself because every person is different. What worked for me may not work for you - but that said the basis is always the same. You need to consume fewer chemicals, inflammatory foods and give your body foods and nutrients that will aid it in the healing process.

 

chronic eczema

"It may take a few months or maybe even a year,

but if you are consistent with giving the body what it needs,

the skin will heal itself.

The body is so much smarter than these doctor's make out and the body never attacks itself;

it's merely telling you that something is wrong,"

DIET

I have listed this first as this is really the most important factor when it comes to healing the skin naturally. In this day and age that we live in, we are exposed to so many different chemicals and toxic ingredients on our food by way of pesticides and insecticides. Not only that but the majority of what we eat in a western based diet is processed. If you think right now of what you eat on a regular basis; how much of that food is fresh, raw or prepared by yourself?

Everything down to our seasoning is full of chemicals, fillers, and preservatives. A task I want you to embark upon is to read the ingredients list of the foods you regularly eat and write down any ingredients you don't recognise and then find out what they are. I'm sure you'll be as shocked as I was.

It's no wonder why, although we have an amazing healthcare system here in the west, we are overwhelmed with chronic sickness and disease. Think of the body like a machine. It runs on fresh food and water and yet we fill it with chemicals and fake food and expect it to do its job efficiently. Do you expect the same performance from a petrol car if you fill it with diesel or from a computer if it has a virus?

The first thing you need to do is cut out all of the processed foods and reduce the intake of fats in your diet. Even healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds. This is simply because fat thickens the blood and the toxins that are trapped in your body will struggle to come out.

Focus on eating a whole food plant based diet with excess amounts of organic fruits and vegetables. I know organic produce is very expensive but a rule of thumb is to buy organic fruits and vegetables that you have to eat the skin of. For example, lettuce, spinach, kale, sweet peppers, apples, strawberries, pears should all be organic because we eat the outside as well as the inside. Foods like watermelon, papaya, mangoes, butternut squash are ok to buy conventional because you don't eat the skin.

Aim to prepare majority of your meals yourself because the reality is, if you buy your food in a restaurant or take away shop you don't know what they have put into it.

I will be bringing recipes for food, drinks and desserts on the blog and my channel, as well as healthy alternatives for the foods we all love. I don't want this transition to be a burden to you. A healthy diet can be as fun and exciting as the food that you're used to if you give it a chance. I have honestly enjoyed every minute of experiencing new foods and flavours, especially learning as a black woman how to make food flavoursome without the use of pre packaged seasoning.

below is a list of foods that you should completely avoid and cut out for maximum healing. This is because the following foods are either damaging, inflammatory and/or genetically modified so the body is unable to digest it.

GLUTEN

WHEAT

DAIRY

MEAT [for the time being]

CORN

PORK

NON-ORGANIC SOY

CANOLA/RAPESEED OIL

PROCESSED SUGAR

EGGS

FARMED FISH

MSG

chronic eczema
SKINCARE

Although I spoke about eczema being caused by internal issues, it's still very important to make sure that the skin is well looked after and hydrated in order to limit the risk of infection and aid healing.

I know this may sound controversial to some but stay completely away from commercial and prescribed creams and shower gels. Especially those that claim to be for sensitive and dry skin. I will go into this at a later date but the beauty and skincare industry is the biggest sham. Whilst they promote that their products are for moisture, they are filled with drying and toxic ingredients which suffocate the skin and stop it from healing. This includes the thick greases the doctor's prescribe such as E45, 50/50, Epaderm, Aveeno and the like.

To remove the dead skin and aid the body in detoxifying, start your wash and skincare routine by gently dry brushing your skin. You don't need to scrub hard or you will break the skin and make it more prone to infection, but gently use the brush to exfoliate. Start from your feet and work gently upwards brushing each part of your body towards the heart.

Once or twice a week, after brushing the skin, sit in a warm bath with added salts, choosing between Epsom, Dead Sea or Pink Himalayan salts. You can also add a few drops of essential lavender oil to this bath. Again, this is in order to help the skin release the toxins that have built up under the surface.

After the bath, wash your body gently with either African Black Soap or Dr.Bronners Soap which are both natural soaps with no added chemicals. The baby mild version of Dr.Bronner soap I found best to use when my skin was extremely sore, but when my skin was weepy and appeared prone to infection I used the tea tree version for its natural antibacterial properties.

To cream with I use a moisturizer called Dream Cream by LUSH but the self-preserving version. This version has more oils and fewer chemicals than the original. Although this cream is not completely natural, I have found that after adding extra oils and essential oils to it, that it is the best cream that I have used since starting my eczema healing journey. I believe it is the oat milk base in the cream that soothes the skin and the itch that you suffer with when you have eczema.

I'll do a separate post on this next week as well as other posts showing you how to brush the skin properly.

EXERCISE

This may seem like such a simple or irrelevant thing but it is also a very important part of healing the skin. If you imagine you have a bike and you leave it out without ever using it, the bike begins to get rusty and eventually becomes unusable. This is the same with our bodies. Our bodies were designed to move daily, so If you're a couch potato that never exercises or gets your blood circulating, again, toxins build up in your lymphatic system and begin to cause problems. Another reason why eczema is difficult to heal is that the majority of the time the lymph system is blocked.

When my eczema was at its worst, I noticed that I had a small lump at the back of my neck. This is one of your major lymph nodes and that bump is an indication that it is blocked. It won't disappear after a week of making these changes. For me, it took months, but gradually it did get smaller and smaller until I couldn't feel it anymore.

Aim to get your body moving at least once a day. Go for long walks, ride a bike, jog, anything you can to get the body moving. That said completely avoid swimming in chlorinated pools.

When my skin was really bad, I couldn't physically do any of the things I had mentioned, let alone go outside, but if you find yourself in this situation the best thing you can do is to get yourself a rebounder. This is, in essence, a mini trampoline. This allows you to get blood pumping around your body but also detoxifies the liver by forcing toxins out of it with the jumping motion. This is so simple as you only need to do this for at least ten minutes a day.

Getting outside and exposing yourself to the sun is also very important for the skin to heal. If you live in the UK you will know that getting sun in this country is very few and far between but try and spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Stress and emotional turmoil is a huge factor when it comes to contributing to eczema so all of these things mentioned are also ways you can de-stress.

Allow yourself to focus on things and areas of your life that bring joy and happiness. If you focus on negative things and things that bring stress and anxiety your skin will not heal.

joanne rh

Last but by no means least, you have to be patient. The healing process is not an overnight process, especially if you've been using steroids for your eczema over a long period of time. The body not only needs to push these chemicals out but it also needs to re-learn how to fight disease and infection after being suppressed for so long.

By changing your diet and aiding your body with detoxification, it will heal quicker.

As I've mentioned before in previous posts, the skin will always get worse before it gets better. It also heals in cycles so it will flare up and down, with every flare-up less intense and shorter than the last.

Remind yourself of this every time that it's just a process you need to go through for complete healing rather than being discouraged.

I really hope this post is an encouragement to you, that not only can you heal your skin naturally but that you can heal for good. If I can do it, you can definitely do it.

I didn't document every step of my journey month by month to show you how my skin healed in stages but here is a link to a girl that is. I want any of you reading this to have a realistic timeframe when going on this journey.

No matter what you're skin looks like right now, remember you are and will always be beautiful...

I look forward to seeing you next week and don't forget to share this post with anyone you think may need it.

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16 Comments

  1. Kimberley
    December 9, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    Joanne, thank you so much for writing this. I struggled for a year with horrific eczema (triggered by a filthy London office I was forced to work in). I tried EVERYTHING. 5 different dermatologists, a million different creams, I even quit my job. It finally cleared when I went vegan in November and cut out the things you’ve mentioned.

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      January 1, 2019 / 8:41 pm

      Hiya,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s actually crazy to think what can affect our bodies that people will not even realise. Mine was made extremely severe because our house was mouldy! So glad you’ve been able to overcome it aswell. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through

  2. Lola
    December 10, 2018 / 3:23 am

    My goodness! I cannot thank you enough for sharing this, I’ve had mine on my feet for almost 2 years and been using various prescribed creams to no avail but this article is revelatory! Well done for being so brave through the ordeal and wanting to help others, I sincerely pray that the healing is permanent with no future flares or episodes. Thank you so so much once again!

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      January 1, 2019 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. You truly will be able to overcome it I promise! Just a bit of perseverance and patience. If you need anything at all just email me I’ll be happy to help! x

  3. Blessing
    April 30, 2019 / 1:00 am

    Hi thank u for sharing your story,
    What is the name of eczimma u used,

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      April 30, 2019 / 10:11 am

      heya, i dnt understand ur question sorry

  4. Kady
    June 2, 2019 / 3:13 am

    Hi, I have eczema all over my body since I am a child. I did not find any way to overcome it. I want to be vegan but I don’t know where to begin.
    May I also know what cleanser you used ?

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      August 2, 2019 / 9:05 am

      Hiiya. I use dr bronner soap to wash with and I also use that as a cleanser for my face x

  5. Amrit A
    August 19, 2019 / 11:02 am

    You’re incredibly strong. I too have battled with eczema so this really hit me. I’m incredibly happy you were able to heal from it and able to share your experience. Thank you and wish you all the best. x

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      August 19, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      thank u so much for your kind words. i hope u know u can heal too!! xx

  6. Deborah Taylor
    October 8, 2019 / 7:49 am

    I am already a think person and don’t want to lose any more wi
    Eight with deciding to chsngtto a vegan diet. Was this an issue for you?

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      February 6, 2020 / 8:50 pm

      I’m not going to lie, when I first went vegan I did lose loads of weight but when your skin recovers you can work on putting the weight back on. You won’t be able to do both.

  7. Angella Elotu
    December 17, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    This post literally saved my life, I’ve tried absolutely every brand/chemical/steroid/pharmaceutical ointment there is, But I’ve been trying to live by these codes for the past 2 months, and I’m seeing a GREAT DEAL of change and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful.

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      February 6, 2020 / 9:05 pm

      Honestly! I am so so grateful for you coming back to tell me it’s working for you! That’s literally made my day!

      I hope it continues to heal! xx

  8. Caroline
    January 30, 2020 / 3:33 am

    I am beyond grateful i stumble on this blog. My eczema was getting horrible and I literally ran out of option. I just started reading and implementing certain changes you suggest. I will be back in one month to give an update, however for the time being thank you for placing information out there that is assessable, I am from the US and the love to load us with steroids!

    P.S- if you have any brands to clear the hyperpigmentation please let me know!

    • Joanne RH
      Author
      February 6, 2020 / 9:10 pm

      Hiiya. I’m so glad you found me!

      Definitely let me know how you get on!

      Rosehip oil is one of the best for hyperpigmentation and dark marks x

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