I cannot remember a time without Eczema being a part of my life. I was unable to recall when it began, always giving the “it’s been my whole life answer”. I had to ask my mother when I started suffering from Eczema because I was so young. She informed me that probably the first 2-21/2 years of my life was mostly eczema-free. From there, it began with “little patches” here and there. In the early years that is how it started out, patchy and in certain spots (crux of my elbow, behind my knees) that we treated with cream or lotion from the baby department at the drug store. I was so itchy, miserable, and would scratch in my sleep until I was bleeding. She made me wear mittens to bed!
Around the age of 5, it began to worsen, so we approached our regular family physician who said that I should be seen by a paediatrician. We switched to a wonderful doctor that I continued seeing the rest of my childhood. She suggested we stop using the drug store over the counter hydrocortisone that we had tried, and she prescribed one. She thought I would grow out of it, so I used the prescription on and off (mostly on!) over the years.
By the time I was 10, I was also suffering from migraine headaches, and fainting. My doctor wondered what the connection was and wanted to get to the bottom of it. That was when she sent us to see a neurologist at the Health Science Centre. They ran numerous tests including blood work, EEG, and allergy testing. Every test came back normal. With that, the neurologist began having us record ALL food and drink intake for many months, including eliminating certain foods during times, and incorporating others, and she tried to find a pattern but couldn’t.
In my teens, once I hit around 17, my Eczema was all over my body. It was what I would call “out of control”. Arms, legs, stomach, and chest were all places I could easily cover to hide it, but now it was on my neck and face . I was horrified, embarrassed, and would spend some mornings begging my mom to let me stay home from school knowing that I would never hear the end of it from classmates. My skin color was patchy, some spots with no pigment left. My skin was spotted like a cow for my high school graduation. It was at this time that my pediatrician realized I was not “growing out of this” and referred me to a dermatologist.
The dermatologist prescribed a “concoction” he created that was safe for me to apply to my face and neck. He believed the Eczema was from stress. He also recommended a few steps to follow: 1. No soap in rash. 2. Use Dove soap, unscented. 3. Showers should be short 3-5 mins and avoid hot water. Use Vaseline creamy immediately after and apply it to damp skin. Also use the Vaseline creamy daily. He also gave me a list of foods to avoid and sent me on my way.
While the prescription creams that I was prescribed did help for the most part, I believed there had to be a better, natural way to help myself that did not include rubbing steroid creams onto me for the rest of my life. Into adulthood, I still suffered. Now, it was mostly during certain times of the year at seasonal changes, when I became overly stressed or exhausted, or if I was not taking proper care of myself or my body.
When I do not take proper care of myself, my body lets me know. My stress literally eats at me from the inside out, resulting in Eczema. My gut health suffers when I am stressed because I do not eat properly, and in turn it shows in my skin. I have taken great measures in my adult life, keeping up with a healthy lifestyle, diet, and stress reducing techniques to help keep my Eczema at bay, and it seems to be working. It took years, but I have even regained the pigment back in my spots that had lost!
I need to move my body. I make sure to move my body, whether it be going for a walk or run, hitting up a workout class, or dancing around my kitchen- keeping my body moving, helps get the toxins out, instead of them coming out in my skin. Sweating is a wonderful thing.
I try to eat a natural, plant-based diet incorporating lean proteins. I am not perfect and will not turn down going out for dinner with friends, or enjoying a delicious treat, but staying on top of my diet means I am providing my body systems with what they need to function at their greatest potential, supporting healthy digestion and elimination. The nutrients I am providing my body go beyond supporting only my vital organs.
I now only use natural skincare products (HUNA to the rescue!) and since I have switched all my skincare to be completely natural skin nutrition products from Huna, my skin is getting more of what it needs and less filler. I have not had one spot of Eczema on my face or neck since I done this. When I do feel a dry spot coming on, I immediately reach for Huna’s Nourish Skin Nutrition Balm. It. Works. Wonders. Recently, I have started using the Nourish Calm-Moisture Face Serum as well, and this is a true game changer. After 30 years of Eczema, finding skin care products that work to give your skin what it needs makes me cry the happiest tears.
I also work overtime to reduce stressors in my life. It sounds cliché but taking the time to invest in your mental health and body is the most important thing you can do. You can not take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. I practice meditation, yoga, exercise, living prepared and organized, breathing techniques, going to therapy, and shifting my perspective to be grateful and positive.
I may never know the exact reason why I began to experience Eczema at such a young age, or why I suffer from migraines and fainting. But there are many things that I do in my life to ensure anything that may eat away at me and cause me to become stressed or exhausted are being handled the proper way, instead of literally eating away at me. I am happy to report that my journey with Eczema is now in my hands, keeping under control, and awful itchy breakouts are hopefully a thing of my past.
Blog written by: Brittany Hay, Holistic Beauty Expert + Retail Support Specialist at Huna.