Eczema can be cured
Dr Ford says: “In my experience, most infant and childhood eczema is related to food allergy. Therefore, all you have to do is to identify those foods and … it can be cured!”
Yes! I believe that for most children, Eczema can be cured!
“I see hundreds of children with eczema. Their parents don?t want any more creams prescribed – they want a cure. Most times I can help them. I have been dealing with food allergies and food intolerances throughout my professional life. I have written the book about it … Eczema! Cure It!
Eczema – is it food allergy?
Story: Sam has terrible eczema
Sam, is 15 months old. His mum told me: “Sam has terrible eczema. He scratches until his skin bleeds. His cheeks sometimes look red raw. Some days he is quite miserable. I wish I could help him more. I have been to several dermatologists. I have tried all sorts of creams. But nothing seems to cure it. No-one has suggested a food allergy. But I am getting suspicious about foods. I wonder if he is reacting to something that he’s eating. I am just not sure. I wonder if you can help?”
Most food allergy goes undiagnosed
This is a common story. Some days I feel frustrated. Every day I see children with bad eczema. Many have been suffering for years. In my experience, most of these eczema food sufferers have a food allergy – but this has gone undiagnosed. Their doctors have been unwilling to consider that a food allergy could be part of their eczema problem. Why is this so?
Most eczema is driven by food allergy
I treat thousands of children with severe eczema. I have found that most of their eczema is driven by food allergy. This finding is backed up by convincing medical literature on this topic. Nevertheless, normal medical teaching states that eczema is merely a condition that allergy sufferers get, and that the treatment is moisturizers and steroid creams.
Cure! don’t just cover
The customary medical strategy for eczema is just to cover it with creams. Moisturising creams certainly do help retain the water in the skin. The hydrocortisone creams/ ointments do reduce the inflammation. Stronger steroids certainly do reduce the inflammation even more.
But the trouble is, these steroid creams are harmful to the skin with prolonged use. They can cause the skin to get thin and fragile with long-term use. Your capillaries will begin to show through. Also, the pigmentation of your skin can be altered. Elidel cream can also be used to reduce inflammation. The benefit of this cream is that it does not have any skin-thinning effect.
But none of these creams will solve the underlying problem. These creams can only reduce and alleviate the symptoms. They definitely do help. They have an important place in getting your eczema under control. But they are still a cover-up of the drivers of the eczema.
80% of children with eczema have a food allergy
In my clinical practice I have found that about 80% of children’s eczema is driven by food reactions. So, if you or your family is troubled by eczema, then check out food reactions. My goal is to have people get completely better – that is to have almost perfect skin, and have no ongoing need for steroid creams. Yes! My belief is that most people with eczema can be cured.
Medical research shows that food allergy contributes to baby eczema. However, as you get older, foods play less of a role in eczema reactions.
It turns out that the foods that we get exposed to early in life, and for the longest period of time, end up causing us the most problems. So, in most western countries, it is the dairy products, the soy and the eggs that cause us most of our eczema problems. By contrast, in Denmark for example, where there is a tradition of eating herring and cod, subsequently there is a higher incidence of herring and cod allergies in these children. Yet again, in Eastern countries, where sesame seeds are consumed in larger quantities, sesame seed allergy is a more common problem.
The medical research
The first comprehensive studies that proved that food can cause eczema were done by David Atherton, in London, over 20 years ago in the 1980s. He took two large groups of children. One group was put onto a diet excluding dairy and egg products. The other group was allowed to eat dairy and egg without limitation. When the two groups were later compared, he found that the amount of eczema was a lot less in the diet restricted group. In others words, children eating dairy and egg based foods early in their life were more likely to get eczema. He went on to show that when these foods were removed from their diets, their eczema improved.
Food allergy evidence from Monika
Monika wrote, “I would really appreciate your advice please. My son is 6 months old, and has suffered from flare-ups of his eczema since a few weeks old (as well as cradle cap). He has been exclusively breastfed up to now. The eczema has moved from covering his back, to his tummy and now to his legs (it is worst behind his knees). It is now beginning on his face.
We have been very careful with to avoid any contact (no laundry liquid, all cotton clothing etc). I have tried a wide variety of emollients on him with no improvement, other than hydrating the skin for an hour or two. Reluctantly, I am now trying a hydrocortisone cream. I have heard that “allergy parents” may be the reason for infantile eczema. Could this be why our son has eczema? Or could this be a food allergy coming through my breast milk?”
“What action (blood tests/ skin-prick tests etc.) would you recommend? We can’t just sit and watch his eczema get worse. Our doctors have just generalised the condition – hoping that he may just grow out of it. Many thanks in advance.”
My eczema advice (to her … and now to you)
Yes I can help. I suggest the following:
1 Get skin prick tests if you can – especially to egg, milk and peanut.
2 Start a probiotic (these are acidophilus and bifidobacteria supplements).
3 You will probably need to go off dairy, egg and peanut (you are breast feeding).
4 Yes, use the 1% HC for another month.
5. Avoid all egg, dairy and peanut in his solids.
I hope that this helps. I expect nearly all babies to get completely better.
Better in a few days
Monika wrote back a few days later: “So glad you pointed me in the right direction. The doctors who I saw took a lot of convincing – or should I say begging – to get the skin pricks and bloods done. I could see my diet was already making a difference before the tests so I was convinced he was allergic to some of the foods that I had been eating.”