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Is Toxic Burden Causing Your Eczema?

By Dr. Diane Angela Fong, ND

A spoon full of toxic factories and pollutants

Imagine your body as a finely tuned orchestra, each instrument harmoniously playing its part to create a symphony of health and well-being. Now, envision that harmony being disrupted by a cacophony of environmental toxins – pollutants in the air, chemicals in the water, and harmful substances in our food. This disruption is known as toxic burden, a silent intruder that accumulates in our bodies over time, stealthily undermining our health.

Toxic burden isn't just a vague concept; it's a real and pervasive challenge that affects us all. These insidious toxins can derail normal bodily functions, weaken our immune system, and pave the way for a host of health issues. For those struggling with eczema, the impact of toxic burden can be particularly profound. The delicate balance of the skin's microbiome is easily upset by pesticides, heavy metals, and mycotoxins, leading to a compromised skin barrier and inflammatory responses. This results in the hallmark symptoms of eczema: relentless itching, redness, and irritation.

In this blog, we delve into the intricate relationship between toxic burden and eczema, exploring how everyday exposures can exacerbate this chronic skin condition. Join us as we uncover ways to mitigate toxic burden and restore harmony to your body's health symphony.


Research suggests a link between environmental toxin exposure and eczema. In recent years, eczema cases have increased, especially in urban areas of developed countries. While genetics play a role, environmental factors also contribute. The rise in eczema may be due to increased exposure to environmental stressors over time. Over the past 50 years, there has been a rise in atopic diseases like eczema, coinciding with increased exposure to chemical allergens through processed foods, formula milk, and oral antibiotics and drugs (McFadden et al., 2009).

The Toxic Cause of Eczema

A factory expels toxic smoke into the air

With over 7 million chemical compounds in our environment and new substances continually introduced, our bodies face an increasing environmental burden. These toxins come from various sources like exhaust fumes, industrial pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals, and chemical residues in soil and water. Common products such as cosmetics, processed foods, and pharmaceuticals also contain additives and synthetic materials that add to this toxic load. These toxins can trigger or exacerbate eczema by inducing immune responses or directly damaging the skin barrier. Let's break down the different types of environmental toxins implicated in eczema:

Air Pollutants:

  • Air pollutants encompass various substances in the atmosphere, including both particulate and gaseous forms. They originate from sources like industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust, heating systems, and foam furniture.

  • Major primary pollutants include sulfur oxide compounds, nitrogen oxide compounds, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), toxic metals, and radioactive pollutants.

  • Secondary pollutants, such as ground-level ozone and sulfuric acid, are formed through atmospheric chemical reactions.

  • Epidemiological studies have linked exposure to air pollutants with the development and exacerbation of eczema and other allergic diseases.

  • Route of exposure includes inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact.

  • Mechanisms of action involve adsorption of allergens and activation of immune responses.

Heavy Metals:

  • Studies have shown that eczema can be linked to exposure pre- and post-natally to heavy metals like nickel, lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium.

  • Nickel exposure often occurs through everyday items like silverware, while mercury exposure can stem from consuming certain fish or having dental amalgam fillings.


Ingredients in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products:

  • Fragrances, preservatives, and active ingredients in cosmetics like parabens and formaldehyde releasers, and hair/nail care product ingredients are common allergens and toxic burdens.

Food Additives, Herbicides, & Pesticides:

  • Certain food additives, such as preservatives, antioxidants, artificial dyes, and flavorings, and herbicides and pesticides used on conventional goods may trigger non-allergic food hypersensitivity reactions.

 These environmental toxins interact with genetic predispositions and immune dysregulation to contribute to the development and severity of eczema. Understanding their roles can inform strategies for managing and preventing eczema symptoms.


A person in a lab coat uses a shield to block microbes

"Immunotoxicology" is a concept that helps explain how environmental toxins contribute to the rising prevalence of eczema through increased immune activation (Van Den Heuvel et. al, 2012, Dashner et. al., 2020, Ionescu et al. 2009, Behrendt et. al., 2001, Akdis et. al., 2006, Martin, 2012). The combination of external and internal factors creates a cumulative toxic load affecting multiple body systems, including the immune and nervous systems. Exposure to these toxins can disrupt immune function, compromise the skin barrier, and trigger inflammation associated with eczema.

The 'Hapten-Atopy Hypothesis' suggests that small molecules called haptens, found in chemicals, drugs, and pollutants, can bind to proteins in the skin or other tissues, activating the immune system and potentially causing allergic responses like eczema (McFadden et al. 2009, 2011, 2014).

Studies by Kim et al. (2015) and Ionescu et al. (2009) highlight how both external and internal toxic agents, including vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, pesticides, and personal care products, can have immunotoxic, sensitizing, and neurotoxic effects on the body, contributing to eczema development.

Therapeutic experiences cited by Ionescu et al. (2009) involving over 18,000 patients reveal the importance of addressing triggers like formaldehyde, industrial pollution, microbial toxins, and heavy metals to reduce eczema incidence, especially during pregnancy and early childhood.

In treating eczema, it's crucial to recognize that allergic reactions that trigger eczema may be due to high toxic burden. While traditional allergy testing may not always identify these toxic burden, the symptoms experienced by many eczema patients suggest heightened sensitivity to these toxins. This emerging field of allergotoxicology emphasizes the need to consider testing environmental toxins alongside classic allergic triggers in eczema management.

How Toxic Burden Clogs Your 'Cleanbody Funnel'

A graphic shows how inputs clog the detox funnel

Think of your liver as your body's ultimate Detox Machine, tirelessly working behind the scenes to rid your system of harmful substances. Unfortunately, in today's world, where we're surrounded by pollutants in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and even the products we use, and this superhero organ faces an uphill battle. When you're exposed to these toxins, eventually, you will clog your Detox Machine, or what we like to call at Cleanbody - Your 'Cleanbody Funnel'. This leads to hepatobiliary dysfunction. Essentially, this means your liver has a decreased ability to process toxins and produce bile, which helps with exiting your toxins out through stool, and you can accumulate toxins in your body. This disrupts your whole system and can have serious consequences for your health, leading to inflammation and the manifestation of eczema symptoms.

Exploring the Research:

  1. Atopic Dermatitis and Hepatobiliary System: Research conducted by Kaliuzhnaia et al. delved into the status of gastrointestinal tract, liver, and pancreas functioning in 300 patients with eczema. Their findings revealed a notable prevalence of chronic pancreatitis and impaired liver function among eczema patients, indicating a potential interplay between eczema and hepatobiliary dysfunction.

  2. Liver Dysfunction in Infants with Eczema: Iwasaki et al. investigated liver function in babies with atopic dermatitis using the 13C-methacetin breath test. Elevated serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) levels, indicative of liver distress, were observed in infants with eczema. Additionally, the study highlighted a correlation between eczema and compromised hepatic microsomal function, suggesting a potential association between liver dysfunction and eczema development, particularly in infancy.

  3. Biliary Dyskinesia and Allergic Diseases: Nishimura's study explored the interrelationship between biliary dyskinesia and chronic urticaria, chronic eczema, and atopic dermatitis. The incidence of these allergic diseases was found to be higher in patients with biliary dyskinesia compared to normal subjects. Moreover, interventions targeting gallbladder contraction rate normalization and bile acid modulation showed promise in ameliorating skin symptoms associated with these allergic conditions, indicating a potential therapeutic avenue for managing eczema in the context of hepatobiliary dysfunction.

  4. Bile Acid Modulation: Recent research, such as the work by Shi et al., has unveiled the therapeutic potential of bile acids in dermatological conditions, including psoriasiform dermatitis. Bile acids exhibit anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting IL-17A expression and modulating T cell trafficking, offering a promising avenue for eczema management in cases where hepatobiliary dysfunction is implicated.

The evolving understanding of the intricate relationship between impaired hepatobiliary function and eczema underscores the significance of a multidisciplinary approach to eczema management. Further research into the mechanistic underpinnings and therapeutic interventions targeting this nexus holds promise for enhancing the quality of care and outcomes for individuals affected by eczema.


Understanding whether you're experiencing toxic burden, the accumulation of harmful substances in your body from various environmental sources, is crucial for maintaining your health and well-being. In the following sections, we'll guide you through the process of evaluating your toxic burden step by step. By empowering yourself with knowledge and taking proactive steps to assess and address toxic burden, you can safeguard your health and well-being for the long term.

Evaluate Your Products & Environmental Exposures

Assessing the safety of the products you use daily is an essential step in identifying potential sources of toxic burden. From personal care items to household cleaners and cosmetics, these products can contain a myriad of harmful chemicals that contribute to your body's toxic load. To help you navigate this process effectively, we provide comprehensive resources and guidance through our Cleanbody For Life Membership and if you join one of our Programs. When you work directly with our team in one of our Programs, you'll receive personalized support to evaluate your product choices and minimize your exposure to toxins. By taking proactive steps to assess and address the toxicity of the products in your environment, you can reduce your overall toxic burden and promote a healthier lifestyle. Check out our CB approved products for home toxin tests and non-toxic product recommendations!

Get Tested For Toxins

A biohazard symbol with environmental toxins

One crucial step in managing your toxic burden is to get tested for specific toxins that may be present in your body. The Total Tox Burden test, which can be ordered directly or after undergoing an evaluation, is a comprehensive assessment that examines a wide range of environmental toxins, heavy metals, and mycotoxins.

Each of these toxins has the potential to disrupt immune function, trigger inflammatory responses, and exacerbate conditions like eczema. For example, Aflatoxins, produced by certain fungi, can induce allergic reactions and compromise skin health.

Ochratoxin A, commonly found in food and beverages, has been linked to immune suppression and dermatological issues. Trichothecenes, a group of mycotoxins produced by mold, can cause skin irritation and inflammation.​

By identifying and quantifying these toxins in your body, the Total Tox Burden test provides valuable insights into potential triggers for eczema and other health concerns. Understanding your individual toxic burden allows for targeted interventions to reduce exposure, support detoxification pathways, and promote overall wellness. Additionally, this comprehensive approach empowers you to make informed decisions about lifestyle changes and treatment strategies tailored to your specific needs.


Navigating the modern world means contending with a myriad of environmental toxins that can accumulate in our bodies over time, leading to what is known as toxic burden. From pollutants in the air we breathe to chemicals in the products we use daily, these toxins pose a significant threat to our health and well-being. However, there is hope. By understanding the sources of toxic exposure and implementing targeted strategies, we can effectively reduce our toxic burden and promote detoxification.

Clean Up Toxic Exposures

Cleaning supplies

To effectively clean up toxic exposures and minimize your toxic burden, consider joining our Cleanbody For Life Membership or enrolling in one of our programs. With personalized support from our team, you'll receive expert guidance to assess and address toxic exposures tailored to your individual needs. Additionally, getting tested for toxic exposures through our Total Tox Burden test can provide valuable insights into specific toxins present in your body, allowing for targeted interventions to reduce exposure and promote detoxification.


You can also explore our CB approved products for non-toxic alternatives to everyday items such as personal care items, household cleaners, and cosmetics. These products meet our stringent criteria for safety and effectiveness, ensuring that you can make informed choices to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.

Furthermore, we offer tests to check for home and breastmilk toxicity, allowing you to assess potential sources of environmental toxins in your immediate environment and take proactive steps to mitigate exposure. By leveraging these resources and tools, you can take control of your toxic burden and create a healthier, toxin-free lifestyle for yourself and your family.

Support your Drainage Organs

Supplement bottles

Your body's drainage organs, including the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and gut, play a crucial role in eliminating toxins and waste products. By joining our Cleanbody For Life Membership, you'll gain access to protocols designed to cleanse and support each of these drainage organs. Through our programs, we offer comprehensive tests to assess the functioning of your drainage organs, allowing for individualized support to optimize detoxification pathways and promote overall wellness.

Understanding Drainage Organs:

  • Liver: The liver acts as your body's primary detoxification organ, filtering toxins from the bloodstream and producing bile to aid in digestion and waste elimination.

  • Kidneys: Kidneys filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood, excreting them in the form of urine to maintain electrolyte balance and regulate blood pressure.

  • Lymphatic System: The lymphatic system helps remove cellular waste, toxins, and pathogens from the body, supporting immune function and fluid balance.

  • Gut: The gut plays a vital role in detoxification by breaking down and absorbing nutrients while preventing the absorption of toxins and waste products. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper digestion, immune function, and toxin elimination.

Clean Up the Toxins with a Cleanbody Cleanse

Supplement bottles

Embark on a transformative journey to cleanse your body and revitalize your health with our range of Cleanbody Cleanses. Each cleanse is designed to address specific detoxification needs and promote holistic wellness. Here's a breakdown of our six cleanse levels:

  1. CleanMATRIX (Homeopathic Drainage) - Suitable for Kids or Those with Severe Symptoms: Tailored for children or individuals with severe symptoms, this level focuses on holistic homeopathic drainage to support natural detox mechanisms and promote balance and vitality.

  2. CleanCLEANSE (Cleansing with Supplements and Herbs) - Suitable for Kids or Those with Moderate Symptoms: Incorporates targeted supplements and herbs for older kids, facilitating a thorough internal cleanse for revitalization.

  3. CleanFAST (Fasting) - Adults Only: Introduces the power of fasting to reset the body, promoting autophagy and cellular repair for rejuvenation.

  4. Clean C (Vitamin C Flush) - Adults Only: Elevates your cleansing journey with a Vitamin C flush to eliminate toxins and support immune function.

  5. CleanBILE (Flushing Bile) - Adults Only: Targets the liver, gallbladder, and gut to promote optimal digestive function and thorough waste elimination.

  6. CleanLIPO (Niacin/Sauna) - Adults Only: Combines niacin supplementation with infrared sauna therapy to enhance detoxification, circulation, and vitality.


Consult with the Cleanbody Team or a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the right cleanse level for your health goals and individual needs. Embark on your journey to detoxify, rejuvenate, and optimize your well-being with Cleanbody Cleanses.

Seek Professional Guidance

A doctor holds an otoscope and smiles at a young patient

Consulting with our team can provide personalized guidance and recommendations for addressing toxic burden. We can order labs and develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, medical history, and dietary preferences. Regular monitoring and follow-up evaluations can help track progress and make necessary adjustments to optimize gut health and overall well-being.

Check out our Free Eczema Guide for more eczema information, or attend our Live Masterclass to ask Dr. Fong more questions about Toxic Burden. Ready tackle eczema head on? Book a consultation to get evaluated by Dr. Fong today!

About the Author:

Dr. Fong - Eczema Doctor

Dr. Diane Angela Fong, ND, is the CEO and founder of Cleanbody, a wellness company dedicated to treating and preventing chronic disease. She is the creator of the Cleanbody Method, which follows a three-step process: Evaluate (digging into the root causes of chronic disease using lab testing and other evaluation tools), Optimize (enhancing health foundations by addressing nutrition, lifestyle, and toxic exposures), and Support (optimizing organ functions through healing protocols).

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post 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.

Affiliate & Product Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links and mentions of Cleanbody products. As an affiliate, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. However, please note that the inclusion of affiliate links does not influence our editorial content or product recommendations. Our primary goal is to provide valuable information and resources to our readers to support their health and wellness journey. We only recommend products and services that we genuinely believe in and that align with our commitment to promoting holistic health. Thank you for your support!


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