If you have eczema, you're far from being alone. This is where you can hear other patients' experiences of living with and managing eczema. If you’d like to share your own story, please get in touch with us!
Dairy, dairy-free & dairy alternatives
Food allergies and eczema
My son who is now an adult, had very severe eczema as a child and had to be creamed and bandaged twice daily for many years. This had a great impact on him and the rest of the family, especially our other children. We fought to get to see a Dermatology specialist, and as a result he is now on strong medication which helps enormously, but side effects are not ideal. I suspect this will be the case now until puberty so we shall see.
Going on a gluten/dairy free diet has helped clear my eczema
I am 48 years old and have had eczema for 46 years! I have tried all kinds of steroid creams, immune suppressing drugs, herbal remedies, light therapy etc and nothing has worked (at least for any length of time.) Last July I started myself on a gluten/dairy free diet. By October there was some slight improvement and I was considering not carrying on. However, I did and by Christmas my skin was 50% better! Many areas of my body were completely clear - for the first time ever. Since then there has been further improvement and this year I have brought so many tee shirts and shorts that I've lost count. Although I still have some stubborn patches which haven't disappeared and my skin is still itchy and sensitive - my life is wonderful! GIVE IT A GO. Email me if you would like. ps. I am taking calcium supplement every day as it is a dairy free diet and I do have powdered milk in my coffee.
Cutting dairy out of my diet has helped my eczema
In 2001 I was desperate for a solution to my eczema. After 10 years of it being fairly quiet, it was back around my eyes, my left in particular, and they had been sore, swollen and watering for 3 months. I hid behind sunglasses all the time, I was miserable and in pain. My doctor kept just telling me to put steroids and Diprobase on it, which stung like acid, I'd tried homeopathy and Chinese Medicine to no avail. One night out of sheer desperation my best friend and I spent the night online researching alternatives, and I decided to cut out all dairy. The improvement was almost instant. In the 9 years since, I think I have only had two bad flare ups on my eyes, both dampened down with steroid tablets. I still have some on my hands, but I control it by keeping dairy free and using Aveeno hand cream all the time, with steroid cream if it gets a bit much. I avoid absolutely all dairy in all forms, and if I have any by accident the effect is almost instant.
Zoe, Leamington Spa, UK
Dairy products are the biggest offenders
I have had severe eczema since I was 6 weeks old. I have 4 children all without it and for that I am truly grateful. What I did was this. I had triplets and found it impossible to nurse beyond 9 weeks. So I tried a multitude of formulas only to see my children in massive gastric distress and eczema all over, especially on their faces. I found a person who had Nubian goats and milked them to help sick people and new borns. My childrens' eczema disappeared - and I mean completely in 2 days. I kept them on goats milk for 2+ years and they can tolerate cow dairy products and have no signs of eczema or food allergies that I have. My other son I nursed for over 2 years and he is also eczema free (3yrs old) however, he has had small amounts of it since birth.
My own story is the following dairy products are the biggest offenders. Washing produce and cutting certain produce is extremely irritating to my skin. AVON skin products have been the best for me. The sensitive skin products do not burn even when my skin is at its worst. Prednizone prescribed to me (oral) for arthritis seems to help.
Jennifer, Wilmington, USA
I have had eczema since I was a baby, and used to have to go to bed every night covered head to toe in Calamine Lotion! When I was about 6 the people that lived next to my grandparents got a goat, and I used to get fresh goats milk twice a week - it worked! We moved, and my eczema came back. In the last couple of years though most supermarkets have started selling it. I use semi-skimmed goats milk, and avoid cheese and chocolate. The only time it flares up is when I have had to use regular milk, or if I am under a lot of stress!
Lesley, West London, UK
I am allergic to dairy products but take a calcium + vitamin supplement which seems to help.
Karina, Norfolk, UK
Dairy free diets
When I was 13 in the 70's, I had really bad eczema on one of my hands. The doctors tried everything for months with no good results. Then my mother joined the eczema society and read about dairy allergies. She swapped my dairy intake to goat milk and cheese and no cow products. Within days it cleared up. Since then I have gone back to eating dairy products and now just suffer from some discoid eczema on my legs. Interestingly though when I was pregnant it completely disappeared. Why might this be? My daughter was completely clear of eczema until at 18 months she had rota virus (vomiting and diaorrhea) and now has developed patches of eczema on her hands and legs and neck. I am trying her on a dairy free diet though it is difficult at that age. I will wait to see whether this will have any effect.
Katie, London, UK
Giving up dairy helped
I am 35 years old and have had the problem on and off over the last 2 years. It seemed to disappear when I went to India on hols........why I don't know! I gave up all milk and started using Soya Milk (So Good is the brand name). After three weeks it did the trick ... no more itching or scratching although it does return if I use milk. What a relief! I also put in a electrical water 'softener' and Hoover my room more regularly, but this never did the trick till I gave up milk.
Ketan, London, UK
Neocate and infant allergies
Our son was born normal but started developing a severe cradle cap and seborrheoic rash through his body starting around week 3. Later this turned into a severe case of dry skin/eczema. We were horrified. Allergy testing revealed multiple food allergies, and elimination of these foods from my wife's diet (breastfeeding) helped a great deal but she would occasionally eat food that he would react to. At ten months, we stopped breast feeding and put him on Neocate. Since then, he's fine now with occasional patches of dry skin for which we use two prescription creams, Mimyx and Atopiclair. These are not immune-suppressants or steroids but are steroid sparing topicals that moisturize the skin and reduce itching. They really work and have no known harmful side effects. We also use the prescription steroid Locoid for occasional flare ups. For parents of a baby with severe eczema, sometimes it all seems hopeless. However, most of the time, there is a solution. I think food allergy is the biggest contributor, and eczema sufferers should be tested for allergies. Our son is 1 year old and perfectly normal now since we avoid those foods. So don't lose hope.
Lakhu, Colombus OH, USA