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Welcome to Essentially Quinny - A podcast to help you learn more about your body and all the things that affect your health.

I have more than 12 years experience in the Natural Health field working with practitioners and doctors and speaking all over the world.

With more and more people wanting to take responsibility for their health and well being, I am bringing weekly episodes to you so you can make informed choices towards your good health.

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 am available for both online and in person consults.

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Jun 29, 2021

This is the second of a series of episodes about skin conditions.

 I have become known as a complementary dermatologist for supporting people with skin conditions in a natural way. Remember that the information I give is for guidance and for your understanding and not for treatment or diagnosis purposes. 

Eczema is a distressing condition which affects many children and adults. It is often treated with steroid creams and treatments which do not help in the long term healing and rebalancing of the body. When you understand what is happening when the body presents with eczema you can find great relief and healing with the right steps of body support.

The difference between eczema and dermatitis

Eczema is usually more localised than dermatitis and you usually find it in the cubital fossa (inner elbow) or the popliteal fossa (behind the knee). Other common areas include around the neck, mouth and eyes. Eczema can be considered as an atopic presentation, meaning it is a long standing condition which tends to flare periodically.

There are different ways that eczema can present, including:

  • Nummular eczema - coin-like and responds a little different from normal type of eczema
  • Generalized - Everything gets red itchy and extremely swollen (looks like a dermatitis presentation)
  • Lichen-like presentation - when it looks leather-like, usually a chronic condition

What triggers eczema to flare?

When eczema flares, it is the immune system saying, “I am not happy. There is something annoying me. Please can we get rid of this trigger!” We then need to look at what these triggers may be and we address both external and internal factors.

External factors include pollens, grasses, animal fur, food, dust mites and chemical agents. We also have internal factors like stress hormones which can create an aggravation.

If the eczema is red, hot, itchy and/or burning then we know we are having a histamine response (see last week's episode # 30). 

Factors to consider with eczema

  • Are proteins from dietary intake breaking down properly?
  • Is the blood and gut pH balanced?
  • Is the gut flora balanced
  • Do we need to support any mineral deficiencies?
  • What is the trigger and how can we remove it?

We need to consider each of these factors and perhaps change more than one but not every case will need to have each area addressed. Quite often, the difficulty is trying to work out what is causing the problem. Is it internal or external, environmental or nutrition or a combination?!

As a rule of thumb, when we are treating eczema we:

  • Deworm - When parasites have been in the body for a while, we tend to get leaky gut, have poor digestion and uptake of nutrients and have an acid pH. As a consequence the immune response becomes higher (which can result in eczema flares).
  • Introduce high quality probiotics
  • Take digestive enzymes
  • Cut histamines, grains, dairy, nuts and acid forming foods - Once the condition settles we can reintroduce slowly and notice how the body responds so we can work out if any are triggering an immune response. 

Acid forming foods include fizzy drinks, coffee, alcohol (especially spirits),wheat and dairy

Also look out for meals that can be triggering as a whole. For example Spaghetti bolognaise where the wheat is acid forming, the tomato is high in histamine and the cheese is both acid and histamine forming.

A big misunderstanding is when we say, cut out grains and then people reach for gluten free carbohydrates. Gluten-free is not necessarily the solution as there are other proteins which can be triggering to the immune system which are found in other grains, aside from wheat.  

  • Avoid topical creams which will aggravate (including essential oils)
  • Avoid hot water exposure - Hot water will increase the histamine response
  • If the skin is weeping - No exposure to water on the skin at all (better to be a little smelly than worsen the condition!). When I see conditions that are weeping I also find that we need to support the liver and apply tissue salts topically to the affected areas.
  • Topical application of tissue salts - With eczema, we find the topical application of tissue salts to be extremely beneficial. To apply the tissue salts, we crush them with the back of a spoon, sprinkle over the area and then tap to remove the excess. The tissue salts which can help may be 2, 11, 10 and 12. I highly recommend seeking professional help however as the tissue salts you will need and the quantity and frequency you should take them will depend on the individual circumstances (age, external factors etc). 

If there is an acute flare-up of a chronic condition, for example a person with red, how, swollen and itchy patches but who also has lichen-like patches of skin (usually around wrists and ankles), we look at treating the problem area first (the acute flare up) and then we address the bigger picture. 

When we look at the bigger picture we quite often find more than one condition (not just eczema). For example, impetigo (school sores) and eczema or acne and eczema. In these cases we have to prioritise what we are treating (we can’t address everything at once). We prioritise by treating what is the most aggravating first. 

For professional support with your skin conditions

Book an appointment with Maria Arora at