All About Eczema

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Getting Under Your Skin – Eczema and the Skin Microbiome

Medicine can be terribly humbling at times, particularly when treating children’s eczema. But I have found that often my most humbling patient experiences are also where I learn the most about managing this frustrating disease. I want to tell you Tyler’s story as it provides a wonderful picture of how both the skin and gut play a role in eczema.

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The Problem with Dairy and Eczema

Our family traditionally drank an absurd amount of milk. We typically would drink a gallon and half of milk per day, and sometimes more. When the kids came in from playing outside, we would quench their thirst with a big glass of cold milk rather than water. Each night my husband would eat several bowls of cereal before bed. We were drinking skim milk because the food industry had tricked us into thinking all fat was bad. Then we shifted to organic whole milk as the first step toward cleaning up our diets. But our inflammatory conditions remained despite the cleaner dairy products. It wasn’t until we were forced to remove dairy as part of my daughter’s eczema treatment program that we noticed the biggest changes. Her skin rapidly improved, my belly felt better, and my husband noticed his joint pain was better! Now I am not sure we can chalk all that up to dairy removal, but I definitely think there was a link.

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Is Eczema Genetic?

About a year ago, Jake and Amy, a new young beautiful couple, walked into my clinic with their newborn baby, Henry, in tow. As I pulled back the blanket of Henry’s car carrier, I immediately saw why they were there – their precious baby boy was covered in eczema. I gently pulled the little guy out of the carrier and peeled off his onesie. Most of Henry’s cheeks, belly and back were filled with red patchy lesions of eczema, and he was not happy about me touching them.

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