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Dr. Fong's FREE
ECZEMA GUIDE

How to Cure Eczema Permanently

From the Inside, Out

Root Cause #6:

Poor Lifestyle

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Breathing Exercise

What is Poor Lifestyle?

A poor lifestyle encompasses various factors that can significantly impact overall health and exacerbate conditions like eczema. This includes not only dietary choices but also habits related to sleep, exercise, hydration, sun exposure, and stress management. Inadequate sleep, sedentary behavior, dehydration, limited sun exposure, and chronic stress can all contribute to immune dysregulation, inflammation, and compromised skin barrier function, ultimately worsening eczema symptoms. Moreover, factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor skincare practices can further exacerbate skin irritation and inflammation, leading to increased susceptibility to eczema flare-ups. Understanding how lifestyle factors influence eczema can empower individuals to make positive changes to support their overall well-being and manage their condition effectively.

THE SCIENCE

Investigations into the correlation between toxic burden and eczema reveal a complex interaction between environmental influences and the onset of this dermatological condition. Over the past few decades, there has been a concerning rise in eczema prevalence, particularly noticeable in urban regions of industrialized nations. This surge in eczema cases cannot be solely attributed to genetic factors but may be intricately connected to heightened exposure to environmental stressors that have been progressively accumulating in our surroundings. Over the past 50 years, with the huge increase in atopic disease, there has also been an increase in dietary chemical allergen exposure through processed food, formula milk and oral antibiotic and drug use (McFadden et al., 2009).

Poor Sleep & Eczema

Sleep

Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health, including skin health. Several studies have highlighted the impact of inadequate or poor-quality sleep on the exacerbation of eczema symptoms. One study investigated the effect of various stressors, including psychologic interview stress, sleep deprivation, and exercise, on skin barrier function. It found that both psychologic interview stress and sleep deprivation caused a delay in the recovery of skin barrier function, indicating that stress-induced sleep disturbances can disrupt skin barrier function homeostasis in women (Altemus et al., 2001). Another review emphasized the importance of circadian rhythm in overall skin health, highlighting that adequate sleep is necessary for optimal DNA repair activity in the skin (Lyons et al., 2019). Moreover, a population-based study revealed that adults with eczema are more likely to experience fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and insomnia compared to those without eczema. These sleep disturbances were associated with poorer overall health status, increased sick days, and more frequent doctor visits among individuals with eczema (Silverberg et al., 2015).

Poor Physical Activity & Eczema

Active Lifestyle

Physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining the body's defense system, known as the immune system. Research has shown that regular exercise acts as an immune system adjuvant, enhancing defense activity and promoting metabolic health. Nieman and Wentz (2019) highlight the inverse relationship between moderate exercise training and the risk of illness, indicating that regular physical activity can lower the susceptibility to infections and other immune-related disorders.

Individuals with eczema may face challenges in maintaining adequate levels of physical activity due to various factors, including discomfort from eczematous lesions, fatigue, and sleep disturbances associated with the condition. Consequently, reduced physical activity levels can have detrimental effects on immune function, potentially exacerbating eczema symptoms.

Regular exercise has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory influence, mediated through multiple pathways within the body. By reducing systemic inflammation, exercise can help alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions like eczema. Conversely, a lack of physical activity may contribute to chronic inflammation, which can further compromise immune function and worsen eczema symptoms.

Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential for supporting immune function and managing conditions like eczema. By understanding the link between physical activity, immune health, and eczema, individuals can take proactive steps to optimize their overall well-being.

Poor Water Intake & Eczema

Girl Drinking Water

Water is a fundamental nutrient essential for the proper functioning of every living cell, including those in the skin. The skin serves as a barrier against dehydration, making adequate hydration crucial for maintaining its integrity and function. Eczema is characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed skin, poses particular challenges regarding hydration and skin barrier function. Recent studies, such as that by Douladiris et al. (2023), have explored the relationship between water intake and skin hydration in children with eczema. While topical leave-on products are commonly used to address dry skin and improve barrier function, the effectiveness of increasing water intake as a treatment strategy remains debated.

However, research suggests that normal skin hydration can be enhanced by increasing dietary water intake, especially in individuals with previously lower water consumption. In eczema, skin dryness exacerbates the itch and inflammation cycle, contributing to barrier impairment and worsening disease severity. 

Understanding the relationship between water intake, skin hydration, and eczema can inform comprehensive management strategies for individuals with AD, emphasizing the importance of hydration in maintaining skin health and managing eczema symptoms.

Stress & Eczema

Stressed Woman

Stress, whether originating from psychological factors such as anxiety or depression, or environmental factors like work-related pressures, has emerged as a pivotal factor in the aggravation and persistence of eczema symptoms. The connection between stress and atopic dermatitis (AD) has garnered increasing attention in recent years, revealing a complex interplay between psychological states and physiological responses. This intricate relationship has been elucidated through various studies, unveiling the profound influence of stress on immune function, skin barrier integrity, and the overall severity of the disease

Research by Arndt et al. (2008) and Meštrović-Štefekov et al. (2019) underscores the psycho-neuro-immunological factors implicated in the pathogenesis of eczema. Psychological stressors can trigger immune pathways, leading to an imbalance in immune responses characterized by a shift towards T helper type 2 (Th2) cells and allergic reactions. Chronic stress, in particular, has been associated with dysregulated immune responses and increased inflammation, exacerbating eczema symptoms.

Furthermore, studies such as that by Oh et al. (2010) have demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between stress and eczema symptoms, with psychological stressors contributing to disease severity and impaired quality of life in affected individuals. The activation of neurogenic inflammation pathways, involving neuropeptides and neurotrophins, further exacerbates itchiness and inflammation in eczema.

Work-related stress has also been investigated as a potential trigger for eczema, as highlighted in the study by Weinmann et al. (2022)

Moreover, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a key neuroendocrine network involved in stress response, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of eczema. Lin et al. (2017) found that eczema patients exhibit HPA dysfunction, characterized by a blunted cortisol response to stress, which may contribute to disease progression and symptom exacerbation.

The psychoneuroimmunological mechanisms underlying the relationship between stress and eczema underscore the importance of holistic management approaches that address both the physiological and psychological aspects of the condition. Interventions aimed at stress reduction and psychological well-being have shown promise in improving eczema outcomes and reducing disease severity.

Poor Sun Exposure & Eczema

Beach Vacation

In regions with higher latitudes or limited sunlight exposure, there's a notable concern regarding the potential impact of vitamin D deficiency on the prevalence and severity of eczema. The "vitamin D hypothesis" has emerged as a plausible explanation for the increased incidence of eczema in these areas. Research, including the study by Debra J. Palmer and colleagues published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2015, has underscored a significant association between vitamin D status and eczema outcomes. Notably, inadequate sun exposure leading to lower serum vitamin D levels has been linked to an increased incidence and severity of eczema symptoms. This correlation highlights the critical role of sunlight in the synthesis of vitamin D, which in turn affects immune system regulation and skin barrier function, both of which are crucial in the pathogenesis of eczema.

HOW TO EVALUATE IF YOU
HAVE POOR LIFESTYLE FACTORS

Assessing lifestyle factors is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Identifying areas of improvement can lead to positive changes that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. One effective way to evaluate lifestyle factors is through the Cleanbody Pillars Assessment, which examines the five key pillars of health: CleanFOOD, CleanFIT, CleanENVIRO, CleanROUTINE, and CleanMIND.

  1. CleanFOOD: This pillar focuses on the quality of nutrition in your diet. Evaluate your eating habits, including the types of foods you consume and their nutritional value. Consider factors such as balanced meals, portion sizes, and intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

  2. CleanFIT: Assess your level of physical activity and exercise routine. Consider the frequency, intensity, and duration of your workouts, as well as the variety of exercises you engage in. Aim for a balanced fitness regimen that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and activities that promote overall well-being.

  3. CleanENVIRO: Examine your environment and surroundings to identify potential sources of stress, toxins, pollutants, and other environmental factors that may impact your health. Consider aspects such as air quality, water quality, exposure to chemicals, noise levels, and the overall cleanliness and organization of your living and working spaces.

  4. CleanROUTINE: Evaluate your daily habits and routines to determine their impact on your health. Assess factors such as sleep quality and duration, stress management techniques, hygiene practices, time management, and consistency in following healthy habits. Establishing a balanced and consistent routine is essential for promoting overall well-being.

  5. CleanMIND: Consider the state of your mental and emotional health. Reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, as well as your ability to cope with stress, manage emotions, maintain positive relationships, and foster a sense of purpose and fulfillment in life. Prioritize activities that promote mental clarity, emotional resilience, and overall psychological well-being.

Taking the Cleanbody Pillars Assessment can provide valuable insights into your current lifestyle and help identify areas for improvement. By addressing deficiencies in any of the five pillars of health, you can take proactive steps towards enhancing your overall well-being and achieving a healthier lifestyle.

HOW TO FIX POOR LIFESTYLE

Improving your lifestyle is essential for promoting overall health and well-being. By making positive changes in various aspects of your daily routine, you can enhance your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Here are some practical strategies to address common lifestyle issues:

Improve Sleep

Sleeping Baby
  • Establish a CleanROUTINE with consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

  • Make your sleep environment comfortable and conducive to rest, including a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom with a comfortable mattress and pillows.

  • Limit exposure to electronic devices, such as smartphones and computers, before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with sleep.

Increase Physical Activity

Girls Jogging Together
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, as recommended by health guidelines.

  • Incorporate a variety of physical activities into your routine, including cardiovascular exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and recreational activities you enjoy.

  • Find opportunities to be active throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking instead of driving for short distances, and participating in active hobbies or sports.

Increase Water Intake

Staying Hydrated in Yellow Sweater
  • Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Aim for at least half your weight in ounces of water daily, or more if you're physically active or in hot weather.

  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you to make it easier to stay hydrated wherever you go.

  • Monitor your urine color: pale yellow to clear urine indicates proper hydration, while dark yellow urine may indicate dehydration.

Decrease Stress

Mother and Daughter Meditating
  • Practice stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, or yoga, to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.

  • Identify sources of stress in your life and find healthy ways to cope with them, such as setting realistic goals, prioritizing tasks, delegating responsibilities, and seeking social support.

  • Make time for activities that you enjoy and that help you unwind, such as spending time outdoors, engaging in hobbies, listening to music, or spending quality time with loved ones.

Increase Sun Exposure

Nature Walk
  • Spend time outdoors in natural sunlight to boost your vitamin D levels and improve mood.

  • Aim for at least 15-30 minutes of sun exposure on exposed skin, such as the arms and legs, several times a week, especially during the hours when the sun's UV rays are most intense (typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).

  • Practice sun safety by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, protective clothing, and sunglasses to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Seek Professional Guidance

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Consulting with our team  can provide personalized guidance and support on your journey to better lifestyle choices. Our team at Cleanbody offers one-on-one consultations with Dr. Fong and Cleanbody Nutritionists to assess your individual needs, develop tailored nutrition plans, and address any underlying health issues contributing to poor nutrition. Attend Dr. Fong's next live Q&A session to ask questions or schedule a consultation to start your journey towards optimal health.

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Conquer your Skin Condition FOR GOOD

5 Year Old with Severe Eczema

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Day 0

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5 Months

17 Month-Old with Eczema

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Yajaira's Journey to "Clean" Skin!

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Overcoming Eczema, Autoimmune Disease, Gut Health Imbalances & Getting off Dupixient

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Get off your Skin Disease Medications FOR GOOD

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1 Month

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2 Months

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“I’ve had eczema and skin issues all my life, since literally the day I was born…. Working with Dr. Fong and her team gave me a new outlook on medicine, on my health, on my body and on myself. This whole new side of health and medicine is something I hope for every person to experience and know. Thank you Cleanbody Team!”


-KG (Completed Cleanbody Program Feb 2023)

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MEET MORE ECZEMA WARRIORS!

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Overcoming Mold to Address the Root Cause of Eczema

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Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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