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EZCEMA help!

Hi all,

i’ve struggled with eczema all my life, and i’m hoping that my new raw diet will help. I know it will take a while, but of course i’m eager for results. In general, my eczema is mild-moderate, and occurs mainly on my legs, hands, elbows, and neck. I’ve been raw for 2 months and 1 day (!) and I’m thinking that i’m entering some kind of healing crisis. i wake up at night to scratch, and my legs don’t look very nice. my neck/throat area is always inflamed now. My hands look like lizard hands and they HURT. they are cracked, oozing. etc. the skin is so tight i can’t open my fingers all the way!! i have no fingerprints; only cracks and peeling. they are so dry they snag delicate fabrics!!

i have tried EVERYTHING in my life to fix this, hence, the raw food diet. Strangely, the eczema wasn’t really very bad when i started transitioning, and didn’t think about it very much when i was starting to be raw. now it is a major part of my day :(

Do i just need to wait it out? Has anyone else cured eczema with raw food? how do i get through this without going crazy?

i have tried: shea butter virgin coconut oil cotton gloves every type of cream/moisturizer dr bronners soap/using minimal soap eco-cleaning products throughout the home moisturizing right after a shower/pat dry not taking baths concentration/meditation tecniques acupuncture TCM/herbal remedies…

you name it, i have tried it!!! please, any other ideas!??


  • I had a lot of problems with Eczema as a child and it has come back several times since then. Once I had a really bad case of it when I went on the anti-yeast diet. No sugar, no bread, no fruit and very little carbohydrates of any kind. I did end up eating a lot of raw then, even though I wasn’t trying to eat a raw diet. The eczema flared up really bad and I think it was just that I was generally eating a cleaner diet then what I was used to and my body had a chance to start detoxing a little. I have read that through the skin is one of the first lines of detoxing. I’ve also heard that when you start detoxing you go backwards in the various ailments you may have had in the past. The fact that you’re detoxing through your skin is supposedly a good sign. I would think it should start to clear up the longer you have been raw. I found the Aveeno brand oatmeal bath really helped me a lot. I think you can buy it in any drug store.

  • hi limelady, i think you are probably right about the backwards-detox. I have heard about it, but didn’t really believe I would experience it. i have tried the aveeno bath in the past without much luck. maybe i’ll try it again. sigh. luckily, this bout with eczema isn’t the worst i’ve ever had. it’s still in the mild-moderate stage… but it sure is frustrating.

  • kayo, i am so sorry for your suffering! my son has had severe eczema since the cradle cap disappeared. He exchanged one skin issue with another and like you i have tried everything to ease his suffering. I’ve been giving him green smoothies everyday for the last three weeks as I myself am transitioning to raw and i was hoping to see even some mild improvement, but it’s actually worse. so maybe it is a detox that is going on but it’s so hard to say. A naturopathic physician told me she thinks his pH is off and that he needs to alkalize the acidity in his gut. I didn’t take it that seriously at the time because this is the same doctor who told me to get him started on a “blood type diet” and after researching that I pretty much thought she was a quack. Also she said the sugars in fruit were not good for him so she recommended I cut way down on his fruit intake. However, recently I have read Victoria Butenko’s book Green for Life and she actually has alot of really good info on pH balancing so I am thinking there may be some validity to that concept afterall. I plan to wrap my brain around that idea and adjusting his diet accordingly. Worth a try, eh?!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    I only have a small patch of it but it is the worse when it is itchy. i had this great cream from a Chinese doctor that works so well but i have no idea what it is called. one of my students has severe allergies that cause his excema, certain fruits, etc. you may want to get tested for allergies with an ELISA panel. my husband had that and he is allergic to random things like flax, banana, etc.

  • Kayo, after your bath, before (I recommend coconut oil), try to “sand” the area with sand paper or an emryboard to get it as smooth as possible, then soak it with the coconut oil over and over again…

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    kayo~ I had increasingly difficult skin issues from chemical sensitivity (I had to travel with my own linens and soap) to eczema. I addressed it as an immune system issue. I posted on this thread about my detox: Being Raw / Detox ?. I gave my body what it was missing and have gotten my life back.

  • thanks for all your advice, everyone! incidentally, today has been better. I don’t know why, but it’s pretty normal to have ups and downs. i have been wearing my cotton gloves over shea butter and coconut oil all day and just haven’t let my hands dry out.

    LimeLady, what does victoria say about fruit and pH? Aren’t citrus fruits alkaline in the body? if so, i should be doing well. i’m in california where the oranges are fresh, and i eat 3-5 citrus fruits per day. I should also read green for life!

    bitt, is the chinese cream called “999”?

    waterbaby: oooo, sanding my skin sounds REALLY nice… heh heh. i’m such a scratching fiend. my fiance says i’m just addicted to scratching! but it makes sense to get rig of the rough edges. maybe the oil would soak in better.

    bluedolfin, i’ll check out your thread.

  • Hi Kayo, This is a symptom of detox, your body is detoxing thanks to your raw diet. I have had all my life similar issues with exzema and “cured” it with a raw/vegetarian diet. (occasionally reappears if I get intoxicated). The best way to cure it is to detox, to speed up your detox process I used hydrotherapy techniques and added to my diet the food combining principles to better the digestive process and avoid creating new toxines. Also the use of daily enemas would be a great thing to help detoxing. Don’t give up, I know it is painful but it is a positive response from mother nature that is working to improve your overall health.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    kindaraw – The Blood Type diet was the best thing ever for me – it was the one thing that made the most sense with what I had already learned about my body’s reactions to foods & overall diet. Raw has replaced the blood type diet for me, but it can definitely be a good guideline for a lot of people who aren’t raw yet.

    I was going to ask about the sugars in fruit, since a lady I knew of had much less trouble with eczema when she avoided sugar.

  • Kayo – have you looked into food intolerances as the cause of your eczema? My kids had eczema all over until I found they were intolerant to gluten, soy, and dairy. They would break out approximatley 3 days after eating one of those three allergens (other symptoms were diarrhea/loose stools and/or agitation withing 30 min after eating. Also sometimes bloating and gassiness). If you are raw and using soy sauce or tofu or even wheatberries it may be causing a reaction. Or it may be some other food causing a reaction like nuts. I would start with gluten and soy since they are the easiest to remove on a raw diet then after a week see if your symptoms improve. You have to be careful though…if you are intolerant to gluten even a crumb can cause a reaction. This means you need to be careful with cross-contamination of pans, spoons, cooking/prep area.

    I would bet anything it is a food intolerance. I have seen it with many, many kids (not just my own).

    I would highly recommend you start a food diary. Document everything you eat and the times and also document how you FEEL: agitation, mood swings, itchy, break outs, diarrhea, loose stools, gassy, nauseous, etc. Find a pattern for when you break out and what caused this. Keep in mind depending on the intolerance it could take up to 3 days for the eczema to show.

    This is my area of expertise ;0) Hope that helps.

  • Hi Kayo! I'm in the same boat as you - hang in there! I had a really severe healing crisis about 4 years ago after eating 100% raw for 6 weeks. I was heartbroken because I loved eating raw but unfortunately because the symptoms were so severe, I backed off and re-introduced a bit of cooked food. 
    Only advice I can offer you that I don't THINK anyone has touched on yet is do not use ANYTHING on your skin topically. Nothing. Your skin needs to learn how to BE skin. :-) If you can bear it, go cold turkey. I did back in September and I could actually feel my skin working to try to figure out how to self-moisturize. It was really uncomfortable because obviously all you want to do is put some lovely shea butter on your tight skin, but once it heals up think of all the money you'll save on products. Also, absolutely no other products on skin besides. No soap, no bubble bath, no perfumes. I always found when i used oils that it sort of generated heat where the break out was which made it worse in the long run.
    Apart from that, I'm going through a healing crisis too at the moment so I am at the same spot as you. I wish you the best! x

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