I love sharing (and reading!) eczema healing success stories from my readers (you may have read a few other eczema healing stories I’ve shared previously, like this one and this one). I feel like they give so much hope; if you’re struggling with believing in healing, I hope this post will really give you encouragement that you can heal, no matter what doctors may have told you.
Today I have a special story from one of my readers, Zehra, who has been following my blog for a while. She implemented some of the tips that I’ve blogged about and has seen great healing. I’m so impressed with it! Her story is long – but worth the read. I hope you’ll read through to the end.
P.S. It’s so incredible to think that the information on this blog could help people heal…it’s more than what I could’ve asked for 🙂 Can you imagine that these healing stories are only a small percentage of the healing that’s occurring from people who are reading this blog?!
So many of my readers have emailed me their stories or shared with me their healing stories over private message on my Facebook page – so I just want to encourage you that so much healing is taking place from people around you that you might not even be aware of 🙂 Email me here if you have a success story to share and give others hope.
Here is Zehra’s healing eczema success story below (p.s. she didn’t take any “before” photos of her skin, but you’ll already learn so much just by reading her story):
Zehra’s eczema story.
The key to healing: Self Love.
“For most of my teenage years, I have suffered with eczema. Its genetic in my case, as it was passed down from both sides of my family, my mom’s and dad’s. It was just the occasional dry itchy area on my leg that would come when the weather would change from hot to cold vice versa.
But during my first semester of college, my eczema never got so bad in my entire life. One day in August 2013, I noticed a spot on my leg. It was very itchy and uncomfortable but I thought it was just the occasional spot that comes every once in a while. I ignored it and I let myself scratch just because I could.
I never thought my diet had anything to do with my skin. Soon before I knew it, within the next two months, both my legs were incredible inflamed and I found myself scratching nonstop. I would scratch when I was bored, when I was stressed, when I was sad or upset, or just when I just felt like scratching.
I woke up with bloody fingernails and bloody sheets and realized that I unconsciously would itch even at night! And it did nothing but make my skin worse. People in my family would say “stop scratching!” and they acted like it is so easy to just stop when it wasn’t. I felt like it almost became an addition to scratch.
My sister told me that perhaps my diet was affecting my skin and for about a month I tried my very best to eat healthy. Lots of fruits and vegetables, lots of healthy fats and probiotics. I would juice everyday and make a juice of spinach, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger, celery, and cucumber.
I stopped wearing jeans for about 6 months because the fabric would itchy my skin and make me want to itch at school. I started wearing long skirts that were more comfortable. But even though I thought I was doing everything “right” I still found myself itching even at school. I would even numb my legs with an ice pack just so I wouldn’t feel the need to itch! I tried everything to just heal fast.
I wanted to just heal fast and naturally. I would moisturize with the Egyptian magic cream and use an olive oil and brown sugar scrub to exfoliate my skin everyday which honestly when I think about it now it was just an excuse toitch. At least I wasn’t scratching with my finger nails, but brown sugar instead.
That was just an excuse and my skin started to ooze. This yellow liquid came out of my pores on my legs and I freaked out. I was doing everything “right” to heal, but my skin just got worse by each day.
One morning in October 2013 after having a family party at my house where I let myself eat whatever I wanted because it was a “party”. I indulged in sweets, in gluten, dairy and meat and the next morning my skin literally cracked. I was lifting my leg and I felt this immense pain like my skin was being sliced and when I pulled up my pajamas, I saw how horrible my skin was so red and thick.
It was so inflamed and just thinking about how bad it was makes me cry inside. There was a perfect cut in my skin right above my right ankle and I saw blood oozing out. And thats when I just gave up. And I never hated my skin so much in my life.
My mother insisted I go and see the doctor. And I just gave in. I went to see my family doctor who advised me to go and actually see a dermatologist within the first 3 minutes of meeting her. She said she never seen such horrible skin before which made me feel even worse. She also prescribed me a steroid cream and told me to use it until I saw a dermatologist. I used the cream that night and for 10 minutes it burned my skin.
It hurt so bad because my legs (the bottom portion) was so inflamed. But I kept telling myself, it would have to work for now. It burned my legs so bad and left me with scarred legs and eczema started popping up in different places like my elbow and sometimes on my face! (Eczema on my face was mostly just dry skin on my nose and inflamed cheeks.
I never used a cream on my face, I would just drink a lot of anti-inflammatory liquids like green juices, smoothies and “golden milk” which is made of turmeric. I also kept my skin very moisturized with natural oils. I fortunately do not have any scarring on my face except for the top of my forehead which is not very noticeable.)
When I went to see a dermatologist the next week, I asked her why I was getting such bad eczema. She did not give me a clear answer and just commented saying that maybe it was the fabric softening and told my mother to buy a fragrance free one. She told me she would do a biopsy on my skin and told me to continue to use the cream that I was prescribed. She also prescribed me a lotion to use everyday. The biopsy results was chronic spongiotic dermatitis.
Thats when I found Abby. And I’m so grateful I did. I spent a whole day reading about Abby’s story and how she healed her skin. I was so happy to know that there was someone else out there who understood what it was like to feel at a place where I was. I told myself that if Abby could do it, I could too.
I continued to use the steroid cream and did what the dermatologist told me. I told myself I would use these creams just so the inflammation would go away and then after I would heal naturally. And I did. Once the cream burned the life out of my skin and made the inflammation go away, I was left with very scarred, dark purple, hyper pigmented legs. And an emotional scarred self.
Dealing with my scarred legs wasn’t easy. I had a hard time loving myself. But everyday I told myself that I would be okay. I realized that the whole time it was animal products that affected my skin the worst and that fresh fruits and vegetables were what my body needed.
The reason why my skin didn’t get better during that month I ate healthy was because of detox. It takes time for your body to heal and get better. And sometimes you just have to let it do its thing and be patient. I also stopped telling myself “I’m doing this to heal fast”. I just stopped thinking about the idea of healing and just did what I had to to feel comfortable in my skin. My eczema taught me a lot about loving myself.
And I would have to say it took me about a year and a half to get to where my skin is today. I’m not 100% healed yet, but I planned to be one day. And currently I don’t have any active spots on my legs. Just scarred skin. Within the last year and a half, I focused on eating mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, potatoes and good fats. I avoided meat and dairy and gluten and slowly but surely my skin got better.
I never took a before picture because I was so ashamed and disgusted of my legs.
What I did to help heal as natural as possible:
Everyone’s skin is different and for me personally foods I avoid are refined sugars, gluten, meat and diary. I do eat grass fed butter sometimes and occasionally I have organic, cage free eggs and bread like sourdough bread and ezekial bread. I think its just important to get the best quality of food. I focus mainly on eating as raw as possible during the day. Lots of fruits, veggies, green smoothies and green juices. I also eat potatoes, rice, good fats, and of course lots of water. I also take a tablespoon of diatamacous earth (see below) with a glass of water in the morning and drink lemon water as well.
Another thing I think that is important is before you eat, look down at your food and just take a moment to be grateful. Tell yourself that this food will heal me and then eat it. Its important to eat with love for yourself and your body.
Another cure to my skin was the sun. I would go outside and get some fresh sun for about 10-15 minutes everyday for about two weeks and it healed a spot on my lower leg near my foot.
(August 2014) I started taking “Diatamacous earth” (food grade) which is something my anatomy professor told us about. He started taking it and would tell us how it helped him with this his bowel movements and gave him energy. So I researched it and found out that it is a naturally formed sedimentary mineral rock derived from oceanic unicellular algae.
Its a powder form that tastes like sand that is an amazing source of silica which is amazing for the skin. It also pulls heavy metals from the body.
I read one of Abby’s posts about leaky gut syndrome and how toxins are able to escape and gave inflammation in different parts of the body. I would take about a tablespoon of it (using a non metal spoon) and mix it in a glass of water and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning and then have breakfast etc.
It helped my skin regrow! (The picture I attached shows a spot on my leg with lighter skin compared to the darker pigmented skin around it. Thats my new skin!)
Dry brushing, moisturizing, body soap etc:
I also started dry brushing and drinking lots of green smoothies and green juices as the chlorophyll in the green leaves are so amazing for our skin. I moisturize with coconut oil and add raw shea butter on top for extra moisture. I also use Dr. Bronners “All in one” bar soup on my body and I avoid getting shampoo and conditioner on my skin as best as I can. I wash my hair with it flipped over so that the water washes the soup out without it trailing down the rest of my body. Small things like these help in the long run.
I also started writing down my feelings in a journal as well as what I ate that day. I think its so important to spend time with yourself and with God. Write down how you feel and really respect and honor your emotions. I am so grateful to God for everything He has blessed me with. I learned that hating your skin will never help you heal. In fact it will just make your skin worse. You have to love your skin, no matter what stage it is at because this is the skin that will change one day.
During all of this, I would look to Abby as my inspiration. Reading about her story and about how she battled her eczema, taught me that I can do it as well. My skin is at its best right now and I am incredibly grateful. Im so proud of my skin even though there are still a lot of scars left, they have lightened up so much since before!
Some days it does get hard especially when it comes to socializing and being with people who eat different than you. It was and still is especially hard for me because I want to be able “eat like everyone else” just to fit in. I would take a lactase pill to be able to consume dairy but even some days I would be afraid that “oh what if the pill doesn’t work? Then I will end up with nasty, itchy legs again”…but all of that was just negative talk and it was not helping my skin at all.
And I realized that no, I don’t have to “eat like everyone else” especially when I know those foods aren’t good for my health. I constantly battle eating for other people just to be nice and doing what is right for my body. But I know now that I really respect my body and yes some days I do eat bad and its okay. We are all human and we will make mistakes. The key is to forgive yourself and move on.
I came to understand and realize that eczema is a part of my life and its okay. Rather than being negative and hating my skin, I know that this was all a blessing in disguise. Without dealing with my eczema I would have never learned the importance of self love. I am a huge self love advocate and I truly believe that loving yourself is how you heal.
So to all of you beautiful readers reading this post who are dealing with really bad eczema, just know that it will all be okay. Your body will heal! I promise it will get better. And know that everyday if you love yourself and your skin and do what you can to heal (diet, stress free etc) you will find yourself with beautiful skin soon. Don’t focus on how long it will take, rather focus on doing this for yourself because you are worth it.
Where ever you are right now, take a look down at your skin and tell yourself that you are beautiful and you love yourself so much, no matter how bad your skin is. Remember that no one is perfect, so you do not have to compare yourself to anyone. Focus on yourself and do your best. And tell yourself you will get better and everyday from today, remember that you can do anything that you try your best to accomplish. One of my most favorite quotes is “She believed she could, so she did”.
So simple yet so true. Healing begins in the heart. I hope you all have an amazing day. And to you Abby, thank you for everything.”