By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
My story with eczema on a Reboot…
When I was in my 20’s, I did my first ever detox. I did not do any preparation and threw myself into it full blown and I definitely suffered! It aggravated my eczema terribly and I suffered a flare-up that forced me to tone down the program to reduce the symptoms until I felt it was controlled enough to then get back into the program, which ended up working well with much improvement.
To this day when I do a Reboot it can increase a mild flare-up, but as the cleansing continues, the skin improves, heals and always looks better than ever.
My story is a common one. During a Reboot program as the toxins are circulating back into your bloodstream people will often find that their eczema condition may be aggravated as I found. Since the skin is the major eliminative organ and the largest organ of the body, many of the released toxins are expelled via the skin. Some people may experience a mild aggravation while others may experience a more severe reaction and this can depend on the level of toxins being released.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder that results in red, painful, dry and itchy skin. It is a common skin complaint and many people may suffer with it. Committing to a Reboot is a wonderful healing and cleansing process to improve skin appearance and skin health. It will often improve and heal eczema even long standing severe cases, but you may have to experience flare ups to get there.
This can be very disheartening for many but please be assured that with time, consistency and commitment and once the toxins have been released your skin will improve considerably and often clears up completely.
How long should someone with eczema Reboot?
Depending on the severity of the eczema, and the state of health the person is in when they commence the Reboot, it may be suggested in more severe and/or longstanding cases to continue an extended Reboot for a period of time such as 45-60 days or until the eczema reduces and clears considerably. If weight loss is not required at any point during a reboot then follow these helpful suggestions. If continuing the Reboot is not possible then I would suggest continuing many of the Reboot suggestions such as those given in the preparation week with plenty of juice.
In some cases certain allergies to fruits and vegetables can occur particularly if the eczema appears in large areas where it has not been previously and the severity of the condition flares very rapidly.
Salicylates sensitivity can cause some very sensitive people to react. This often affects skin and airways, while nightshades can also increase inflammation for some and sometimes just a certain fruit or vegetable can be the culprit. Food allergy tests can be useful to determine if this is the case.
Elimination can very effective at finding any possible allergens.
To do this you can eliminate one ingredient (i.e. Apples) at a time and observe over 4-5 days if it doesn’t improve then reintroduce that ingredient (i.e. Apples) then eliminate another ingredient (i.e. Spinach) that you have been juicing regularly. Keep doing this until you get a result or until you have eliminated all the juice ingredients.
Another option is to change all the ingredients in your juices with completely new recipes and observe over a period of 4-5 days if the skin starts to improve; if so than slowly one by one reintroduce each ingredient every 4-5 days to determine the possible allergen. If there are no changes then an allergen is not likely.
Taking fish oil or flaxseed oil during a Reboot for people who have eczema would also be highly recommended.
To reduce eczema flare-ups please follow these steps:
1). Preparation is key! Before completing a reboot we highly recommend a week of preparation to reduce detox symptoms.
2). Drink plenty of water! This aids elimination and dilutes the circulating toxins in the blood stream and aids elimination via the skin, kidneys and bowel.
3). Sweating it out overall can reduce skin flare-ups keeping the dermis and lymphatics flushed and well hydrated.
4). If you find the juices are too strong just dilute these down and include cooling and light vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, lettuce and celery which are particularly good for skin health.
5). It is important to listen to your body and detox accordingly in order to keep the symptoms at a level you feel comfortable with.
6). Herbal teas or herbal medicines such as dandelion leaf or root, calendula, nettle leaf, licorice, chamomile, burdock, yellow dock, blue flag, red clover and chickweed tea can minimise flare-ups.
7). Avoid allergens or eliminate suspect foods as suggested.
8). Following these steps listed will also support and reduce eczema flare-ups
I would highly recommend once the skin has improved you slowly introduce food groups as suggested to determine if you are intolerant to any foods that may be causing the skin complaint in the first place. Eczema often does well for the elimination of certain foods such as dairy, sugar, gluten and other common food allergens as I personally found. Here is more on elimination diets and how they can improve eczema.