There aren’t enough words to do the depths of my experience over the last year, but particularly over the last 6 months (Summer 2022) justice.
All I can say is that I’ve dedicated my life, pretty much full-time, to listening in and responding to the calls of my body. Partly because the chronic pain was so debilitating I had no choice, but also because I am so invested in a future where my health is thriving, the short term sacrifice (financially and socially) would be so worth it, if I could be still, listen and heal it from the root. I truly believe that when dis-ease rises to the surface in the form of pain, discomfort or similar, it’s a call from your body. Your body is calling out for your help. The unwinding of dis-ease is very rarely instant or quick, though of course everyones healing journey is incredibly unique and unfolds with different timelines. I only say that to help dissolve the illusion that there is a quick fix for eczema, or something that you can buy that will remove it all together and for good. I’ve been there, I know it sucks, I know you want it gone. But believing something outside of you will fix you and make it go away, could indeed become a barrier to your healing, resistance to really meeting eczema where it’s asking to be met.
What does exist, and what I would love to give you in abundance through this blog post, is hope. Hope and alternative avenues to go down should you wish to try something different to the steroid cream that most GPs and doctors will suggest. Note: I am not dismissing steroid creams at all. I used them a few times, in small amounts during my eczema journey and I think they can be very beneficial if used in the right amount and with awareness of the potential side effects (TSW).
Most of what I will mention in this blog post has come to me via committed research, appointments, journeys and sessions with Holistic Healing practitioners. It’s come from a commitment to understanding Eczema at the root and not simply putting a plaster on it, which is what I believe many creams recommended by Western Medicine can do.
Before I get stuck in, I want you to know that I truly understand and know the depths that Eczema can take you to not just physically but emotionally and mentally and I see you. I promise that there is light and that you don’t have to manage this for the rest of your life, contrary to the common narratives out there around Eczema.
I encourage you to write your own empowering healing narrative and to be curious about the general opinions, narratives and boxes that people may try to impose upon you.
The body is always working for you.
It wants to return to balance.
It wants to heal.
Wonderful things can happen in a very short period of time.
Your body is asking you to listen, to lean in and give it some help.
All dis-ease, if you can see it so, is an invitation to get more intimate with your body, with the voices of your soul and to step back into alignment.
This is your journey home.
My Experience With Eczema
My journey with healing Eczema hasn’t been linear but then again no healing journey is. Healing from the root of any physical manifestation, in my opinion, is a life-long, daily commitment. Because even when the physical sensation and inflammation dissolves, the way you choose to alchemise and take the lessons forward into a new way of being will determine whether the symptoms stay at bay.
You will see I have mainly shared photos here and on my Instagram of my eyes. Whilst this was where the pain, inflammation and discomfort were hardest to manage (and where eczema first started to show), eczema went on to cover my whole body in patches.
So when did it begin for me?
I had eczema for a couple of years, mildly as a baby.
Over the 3/4 years, prior to this flare-up, I’d notice a tiny dot of eczema on my right eyelid whenever I was run down or my immune system was struggling. This become a sure sign I needed to slow down and I usually would, reducing eczema to nothing on the surface with a thin layer of Hydrocortisone from the Doctor. It was never really an issue.
In October 2021, shortly after I lost my four-legged best friend (which I believe there was an emotional link to), I had my first real flare-up of eczema. I had a remote appointment with the GP and they prescribed the same mild steroid cream that I already had and so I continued with a bit of that which kept it at bay. I did do a liver cleanse and started researching protocols to assist the liver and kidneys in detoxification and I implemented a lot more easy-to-digest nutrition. From this point, I would say I began managing my eczema, mainly on my right eye but now it was showing on both eyelids. I clearly had no motivation or interest in diving any deeper into the healing as I continued about my life and it wasn’t taking the reigns.
We only ever really stop when we are forced to, right?
Fast forward to, after 4 months of wildly magical travels through Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico and LA, April and I found myself stepping into a pretty big new chapter of my life. I’d spent the previous 2 years healing heartbreak, taking a courageous step away from my identity and career as Where’s Mollie and retraining in Breathwork, Tantra-Kundalini Yoga and Sound facilitation. This had been a real emotional rollercoaster, a break from earning financially but really, a beautiful opportunity to reassess, realign and put a new foot forward.
As I stepped into 2022 I was ready to launch a brand new well-being platform, Adventuring Within, and I had just purchased my first home in Newquay Cornwall. I guess you could say the stress (albeit exciting too) of conversing with both solicitors and the tech team behind the Adventuring Within platform, was taking its toll. It was definitely all happening at once. True to my perfectionist tendencies, the launch was all hands on deck and I poured everything I had into the content and offerings.
In June 2022, not long after launching the business and stepping into my new home, the eczema I was previously managing well, stepped up and started to get worse.
This was when the momentum and inflammation began to ramp up and over the course of the next 5 months, eczema took over my body and with it, my emotions and mental health. I had 4 or 5 very bad flare ups and each forced me into total surrender and new lessons. It was like, everytime I thought I was getting on top of it my body would go ‘nope, nope you haven’t learnt all you need to yet, stay here a little longer’.
The 5 months that followed the first flare-up were the toughest 5 months of my life, asking me to call upon ALL of my resources, my practices, and my strength. At times I was completely numb, lifeless and done. Completely done.
After pouring endless amounts of time, money and patience into healing my eczema (and going around in many circles in the process) I finally feel like I am out of the darkness and I do feel I understand what it came here to teach me and show me.
At the time of writing this, November 2022, I would say the inflammation is down to < 5% across my whole body and my skin is regenerating very well. I am still seeing little areas become inflamed every now and them but I can see the direct link of the flare to emotional or physical stress and I can pretty quickly bring the inflammation right back down by not freaking out, stressing about it or continuing to overdo it emotionally or physically.
Easier said than done, I know. Every time I feel a sensation of eczema (tightness, itching or dryness), my mind gets drawn right back to the darkness, to the fear of it returning and it takes a lot of conscious work to rewrite those narratives and to bring trust and hope back in to lead the way.
In the next sections, I will share the things I tried (I’ll probably keep adding to this post as I remember) and I will share the things that worked best for me.
As I’m sure you already know, the root of Ezcema from one person to the next is so very different. My suggestions here are intended to be alternative suggestions and ways to approach your healing should you be feeling lost and unsure of where to turn to next…
A Holistic Approach to Healing Eczema
Holistic definition: the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental, emotional and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.
I will pop all that I came across and all the things that I tried into sections labelled ‘body’ ‘mind’ and ‘soul’. I would truly encourage you to read and take empowered action on each of the sections, even if you feel its just affecting you physically.
I am no doctor but from research, reading and listening to and learning from medical professionals on my journey I believe that when Eczema is showing on your skin, your body is in fact overwhelmed with toxins internally and excreting through your skin is the final resort. This is your body trying to remove the toxins from your body and through your skin when your liver, kidneys and gut are over worked and unable to clear the toxin level in your body through the normal avenues.
The first thing to consider and investigate is, what is going on within your body? Is it overwhelmed internally? Here are some things to consider and ways to inquire…
- Do you have a gut imbalance/issue? Book a consult with a nutritionist.
- Do you have a parasite active that could be causing complications? Book a parasitology test.
- Do you have food sensitivities or allergies? Get lab tests or see a kinesiologist.
- What toxins are you exposed to in your life? (BPA, heavy metals, pesticides)
- Can you optimise your nutrition and shift your diet to align with your body /healing?
- Are you lacking in minerals and vitamins? Get blood tests / see a kinesiologist to test your field energetically.
An Instagram account that gives you a lot of Eczema and IBS insights for healing from the root – @drfong.nd
As I went on this journey, though I was reluctant to ‘mask’ and ‘plaster’ over eczema and give myself a false sense of security with the use of steroid creams, I did use them 4/5 times in small amounts. I used them in places where the eczema wasn’t healing (under my arms, corner of my eyes, elbows) and where the skin was breaking and needed assistance.
In these moments I felt it would be counterintuitive to stay away from a cream that could bring some relief and allow me to redirect my energy towards healing internally. I applied the steroid cream with awareness and awareness of the potential side effects that so many suffer with (TSW). I was also very wary of thinning the skin (which is what steroid cream does) around my eyes as the skin is so so delicate and thin already.
Whilst I do not deny the positive assistance steroid cream can give you on a journey to healing from the root, I could not write this post without making you aware of the number of people that arrived at my DM’s on Instagram to tell me they are dealing with TSW (topical steroid withdrawal) and that the symptoms and pain are multiplied.
Please do your research and make informed choices. It scares me that the only advice the doctor had for me in my moment of desperation was ‘use this steroid cream’. I am so grateful that I had the motivation and resources to with my body to heal otherwise.
See Johhannas TSW story on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/5LdnYMxeeH0
Managing the pain and itching (the surface symptoms):
- I tried ALL sorts of natural creams and even made my own natural oatmeal creams. The things that worked best for me due to the sensitivity and placement of my eczema on my eyes was: Aveeno (body) and Avené (face and eyes).
- I did use Balmonds on other areas of my body and it nourished my skin very well.
- Antihistamine! During my big flare-ups I was taking antihistamines daily to help with the itching.
- Honestly, managing my mental state was key to managing my physical symptoms. The two are intrinsically linked. When you step into fear, panic and stress (which is totally understandable) this creates further inflammation in the body. My eczema led me to a lot of frustration and anger which always catalysed further flare ups. See meditations and advice below in the Emotional Body section.
- Stay out of the sun, salt and wind (all of these inflamed my skin more during the flare ups).
- I would put my gua sha in the freezer and then apply it to my eyelids to soothe and cool them!
Going deeper inward to the root cause:
- I began by following the Anthony Williams Liver Cleanse protocol to relieve my liver and to free up energy internally for healing. Over the 6 months of flare ups, 80% of the time I followed a clean, liver-friendly diet to support my internal systems.
- I had a Kinesiology appointment which illuminated very very low levels of Omega 6, Iron and Magnesium (amongst other things).
- Kineseology also revealed that my gut was swollen and blocked.
- My nutritionist sent off my blood and stool tests which showed I had a waterborne parasite and no allergies.
- I began supplementing where I was deficient and restoring my gut Flora.
- After a huge flare, I began additionally working with wellness practitioner @vie_eau_letta and went on my first Water Journey, cleansing my body deeply on a physical and emotional level. The relief was instant, the inflammation was reduced to almost nothing. The downloads of wisdom emotionally and the time I spent journalling in the water journey have been invaluable. Violeta is absolutely incredible and has been my guiding light throughout this whole experience. Book onto her Water Course and Journey here.
- The water journeys worked to bring my body back to an alkaline state, reduce inflammation and heal on a cellular level. The journeys included daily enemas, supplements and spring/alkaline water.
- Violeta also guided me through additional supplements that would restore my body’s mineral levels to aid detoxification. E.g Fulvic Acid and Magnesium which we don’t tend to get from our water supply anymore.
I truly believe there isn’t one thing that ‘fixed’ my skin. It was a combination and dedication to all of the above and all of the below that you will continue to read in this post.
Things I would recommend:
- Watch ‘The Power of Water’ 90-min workshop with @vie_eau_letta to educate yourself on the healing benefits of water and the potential it has to cleanse your body on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. This is honestly the best £11 you will ever spend if you want to heal your body. Watch here.
- Book onto Violetas Water course and take a full moon journey in one of her containers.
- Watch the ‘Gut Health’ 75-min workshop with my nutritionist, kinesiologist and health practitioner Suzanne. Understand gut health, gut imbalances and what you can do about them. Watch here.
- Get your blood tested and see what you’re lacking / deficient in.
- Commit to eating more colour in your diet, optimise your nutrition and take the workload off of your kidney and liver.
- Drink more water (Alkaline!).
- Use saunas to help detox and move toxins out through sweating.
- Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream. This has been my magic cream. The only cream that would hydrate and soothe my eczema.
- Dry brushing
- Avoid inflammatory foods and add in anti inflammatory foods
Emotional body inquiry for eczema. Take to your journal and spend an evening with these journal prompts…
‘Skin issues that don’t go away with natural remedies have their roots in our emotions, and thus if we don’t resolve the psychological part of it, the skin condition will be persistent.’ – Violeta @vie_eau_letta
- Why are you uncomfortable in your skin? (the location of your eczema can be telling – e.g. behind an ear if you dislike people gossiping about you, on an arm if you feel held back, or on your back if you think people are talking about you behind your back, on your eyes worrying how others see you)
- Who or what is rubbing you raw?
- Are you prone to making ‘rash’ decisions or judgements?
- Where are you being ir-rash-ional (irrational)?
- Are you letting fear rule you?
- Where are you holding in toxic anger and frustration, instead of letting it rocket you forwards?
As they say, the secret to using anger is to ‘get angry at the right person, in the right time, in the right amount’ and use anger as a tool for manifestation, and move forward.
- Do you absorb criticism instead of asserting yourself?
- Do you see sensitivity (and sensuality) as a gift or curse?
- Where do you present a ‘thick skin’ when, deep down, you’re hurting?
- How often do you celebrate your inner beauty, instead of focusing on your appearance and figures (e.g. size or income)?
- Healing and pain relief guided meditation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jD3VxSGM-k
- Matt Kahn on chronic illness https://youtu.be/swk6oohu81Q
- My hypnotherapist based in Costa Rica – James Ayotte (+506 8556 3007)
Notes from James before I began my 3 sessions with him:
- The mental cause for eczema is breathtaking antagonism or mental eruptions.
- The positive, counteracting affirmation & correction for that is… ‘Harmony and peace, love and joy surround me and indwell me. I am safe and secure.’
- Skin in general is about protecting our individuality. It’s a ‘sense’ organ. Skin problems are usually about anxiety, fear, and old buried stuff. ‘I am being threatened’ feelings.
- The positive affirmation for skin, in general, is ‘ I feel safe to be me’
- To counteract skin problems… ‘I lovingly accept myself with thoughts of joy and peace. The past is Forgiven and forgotten. I am free In This Moment.’
Update December 2022
On 3rd December, after being clear for about 5 days from inflammatory flare-ups around my eyes and on my body. I had another huge flare which seemingly came out of nowhere. It was very sudden and got pretty severe during a Rufus music concert in Sydney. The heat in my body was particularly high that day but no more so than on other days when I’d had no skin reaction. I looked back on what I’d consumed/done that day to find another piece in my healing puzzle.
The thing that intuitively stood out to me most was that I’d drunk alcohol for the first time in a month or two. I had 2/3 Aperol Spritz and a couple of kombuchas which were high in sugar but also… citrus.
This didn’t seem a coincidence to me as my kinesiologist in August had tested my energetic field with citrus and she’d warned me to stay away from it. I’d also had a flare-up after drinking Aperol in August.
At this point, my Eczema Reel on Instagram was blowing up and I was inundated with DM’s consisting of hundreds of different healing journeys people had taken to heal their eczema. An approach that I have commonly seen over the last 7 months but hadn’t applied to my journey yet was reducing Nickel consumption (a metal that gets absorbed into foods). See a list of high Nickel foods here as a guide.
- Dried apricots
- Dried beans
- Cannelini beans
- Dried chickpeas
- Chocolate fudge
- Cocoa powder
- Coconut milk
- Dark chocolate
- Dried figs
- Lentils mung beans dried
- Poppy seeds
- Red lentils
- Soy beans
- Sunflower seeds
- Tea leaves
It’s now December 29th… I’ve been in Australia for 3 weeks, increasing my movement, outdoor time, and Vitamin D, I’ve stayed away from citrus completely and reduced my Nickel consumption dramatically (my diet was filled with Nickel-rich foods like cacao, coconut, oats, and walnuts).
My skin is 98% clear and the best it has been in over 8 months. The skin itself is returning to healthy skin. In the next few weeks, once I have a good few weeks of stable mental, physical and emotional health, I will add a little citrus and see if I have a response.
I can’t be sure if it’s the change in the environment which has really helped my mental health, the warmer less harsh weather that has enabled my skin to heal and remain moisturised, the increase in Vitamin D, the reduction in citrus/nickel or a combination of them all.
Knowing the answers is what the mind wants but with Eczema I have realised you may never get them as your internal and external environments are constantly changing. My compass? Staying connected to my body and taking note of the places and spaces I am in when it is happiest and healthiest!
I'll be adding to this post as I remember and continue this journey, please do leave a comment and I'll provide as much information as I can...
Love as always and happy adventuring…
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