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Say Goodbye to Eczema Itch: Dr. Fong's 'Itchy' Solutions to the Rescue!

By Dr. Diane Angela Fong, ND

As an eczema survivor and a naturopathic doctor specializing in chronic skin conditions, eczema is not just a professional interest—it's a deeply personal journey that has shaped my life. From the moment I entered this world, I was burdened with this painful skin disease, enduring three decades of the relentless itchiness that often felt like an unending torment, constantly leaving me with painful, open wounds and blood-stained sheets.

But 11 years ago, everything changed. I triumphed over eczema, achieving a state of complete freedom from itchiness that I once believed was impossible. In my next blog post, I'll delve into the root causes that I addressed to achieve this miraculous healing, shedding light on similar factors I've identified in the journeys of my patients. But before we embark on that exploration, let's first confront the elephant in the room—the eczema itch. In this blog post, I'll unravel the complexities of eczema itch—the science behind it and effective relief strategies that complement the pursuit of addressing its underlying causes.

Understanding the Itch

The eczema itch is more than just a physical sensation—it's a constant companion that can deeply impact one's quality of life. As someone intimately familiar with this sensation, I've come to understand the intricate mechanisms that drive eczema itch. Eczema itch is a multifaceted sensation that stems from a variety of underlying factors, each contributing to the overall discomfort experienced by individuals with eczema. Beyond immune system dysregulation, nerve sensitization, and neurotransmitter imbalances, several other mechanisms play a role in exacerbating itchiness and inflammation.

High Inflammation and Cytokine Activity: Eczema is characterized by chronic inflammation in the skin, driven by an overactive immune response. Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukins and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), contribute to the inflammatory cascade and exacerbate itching sensations. These cytokines stimulate nerve fibers in the skin, intensifying the perception of itchiness and discomfort.

Lymphatic Congestion and Toxin Buildup: The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in immune function and waste removal. In individuals with eczema, lymphatic congestion can impede the proper drainage of lymph fluid, leading to a buildup of inflammatory substances and toxins in the skin. This congestion exacerbates inflammation and itching, contributing to the discomfort experienced by eczema sufferers.

Liver/Gallbladder Burden and Detoxification: Impaired liver and gallbladder function can result in a buildup of toxins and waste products in the body, contributing to skin issues like eczema. When the liver is burdened with detoxification, it may not efficiently metabolize hormones like cortisol, leading to imbalances that can exacerbate inflammation and itching. Additionally, bile production and flow from the gallbladder play a role in digestion and toxin elimination, and disruptions in this process can further contribute to eczema symptoms.

Stress and Cortisol Dysregulation: Stress is a common trigger for eczema flare-ups, and cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone, plays a role in modulating inflammation and immune function. Chronic stress can dysregulate cortisol levels, leading to increased inflammation and exacerbation of eczema symptoms, including itching. Additionally, stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which can further sensitize nerve fibers in the skin, intensifying itching sensations.

Compromised Skin Barrier: The skin barrier serves as the body's first line of defense against environmental irritants, allergens, and pathogens. In individuals with eczema, the skin barrier is compromised from scratching, allowing irritants to penetrate more easily to trigger an immune response. This compromises the integrity of the skin barrier, leading to increased inflammation, dryness, and itching.

Dr. Fong's 'Itchy' Solutions

Navigating the complexities of eczema itch requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the underlying factors contributing to discomfort and inflammation. By understanding the root causes of eczema itch, we can develop targeted strategies to alleviate symptoms and promote skin health. From lowering inflammation and addressing lymphatic congestion to supporting liver detoxification and managing stress, there are various solutions available to help manage eczema itch effectively. In this guide, we'll explore these solutions in detail, providing actionable steps to help you find relief and reclaim control over your skin health. Whether you're looking to soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, or strengthen your skin barrier, these solutions offer holistic support for individuals navigating the challenges of eczema. Let's dive in and discover how you can take proactive steps towards healthier, itch-free skin.

1. Lowering Inflammation and Cytokine Activity:

  • Avoid Inflammatory Foods and Environmental Exposures: The cornerstone of effective eczema management begins with addressing inflammation and cytokine activity, which entails steering clear of inflammatory foods and minimizing exposure to environmental triggers. Inflammatory dietary choices, such as processed foods, refined sugars, and trans fats, can escalate inflammation within the body, worsening eczema symptoms. Likewise, environmental elements like allergens, pollutants, and irritants have the potential to incite inflammatory responses in those with eczema. If you're uncertain about which foods and environmental factors are fueling your inflammation, consider consulting with us to identify and mitigate these stressors effectively.

  • Cryotherapy for Lowering Inflammation: Cryotherapy, or the application of cold therapy, works by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the affected area. This helps to decrease inflammation and swelling, providing relief from symptoms like redness and itching associated with eczema. By cooling the skin, cryotherapy can also help to numb nerve endings, reducing the perception of itchiness and discomfort. Techniques such as ice packs, cool compresses, ice rollers, cold showers, and whole body cryotherapy can all be effective forms of cryotherapy for managing eczema symptoms.

  • Herbs and Nutrients for Lowering Inflammation and Histamine Levels: The combination of herbs and nutrients found in CleanHIST and HistaCalm Kids contain several compounds known for their anti-inflammatory and histamine-lowering properties: These herbs and nutrients work synergistically to lower inflammation, stabilize mast cells, and reduce histamine levels, providing comprehensive relief from eczema symptoms. Incorporating them into your daily routine can help to support immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote overall skin health.

  • Sodium, Potassium, and Bicarbonate Salts: These electrolytes help to maintain proper fluid balance in the body and support cellular function. By ensuring adequate electrolyte levels, these salts can help to regulate inflammation and reduce histamine levels.

  • Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C plays a key role in reducing inflammation and supporting immune function. It also helps to stabilize mast cells, which are involved in the release of histamine, thereby lowering histamine levels in the body.

  • Tinofend®: Derived from Tinospora cordifolia, Tinofend® is a patented herbal extract known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects. It helps to regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation, providing relief from eczema symptoms.

  • Nettle Extract: Nettle leaf extract contains compounds that inhibit the release of histamine and other inflammatory mediators, making it effective for reducing itching and inflammation associated with eczema.

  • Quercetin: Quercetin is a flavonoid with potent anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. It helps to stabilize mast cells and reduce the release of histamine, thereby alleviating symptoms of eczema.

  • Bromelain: Derived from pineapple, bromelain is a mixture of enzymes known for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, providing relief from eczema symptoms.

  • N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC): NAC is a precursor to glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. By boosting glutathione levels, NAC can help to alleviate symptoms of eczema and promote skin health.

2. Addressing Lymphatic Congestion and Toxin Buildup: Lymphatic drainage techniques are designed to stimulate the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body, aiding in the removal of waste products and toxins. By enhancing lymphatic circulation, these methods can help reduce inflammation and promote healing in eczema-affected skin.

  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage: Lymphatic drainage massage involves gentle, rhythmic movements that encourage the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels. This specialized massage technique targets key lymph nodes and pathways, facilitating the removal of toxins and waste products from the body. Lymphatic drainage massage can be performed by a trained massage therapist or self-administered at home using manual techniques or massage tools, such as massage guns, balls or foam rollers.

  • Explore Bioelectric Lymphatic Drainage: Bioelectric lymphatic drainage techniques utilize electrical stimulation to activate lymphatic vessels and promote lymphatic flow. Devices such as bioelectric lymphatic drainage machines deliver gentle electrical impulses to targeted areas of the body, stimulating the lymphatic system and facilitating the movement of lymph fluid. These techniques can be particularly beneficial for individuals with impaired lymphatic function or chronic lymphatic congestion.

  • Alternate Between Hot and Cold Showers: Hydrotherapy, or the use of water therapy, can help promote lymphatic flow and detoxification. Alternating between hot and cold showers stimulates circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage by causing blood vessels to dilate and constrict. Begin with a warm shower to relax the muscles and open pores, then switch to a brief blast of cold water to invigorate the body and stimulate lymphatic flow. Repeat this process several times during your shower to enhance lymphatic circulation and promote detoxification.

3. Supporting Liver/Gallbladder Detoxification: Supplements that promote bile production and support detoxification processes can help optimize liver and gallbladder function, facilitating the efficient removal of toxins and waste products from the body. These supplements provide essential nutrients and herbal extracts that support liver and gallbladder health, promoting overall detoxification and supporting skin health.

  • Avoid Toxic Exposures: Avoiding toxic exposures is crucial for supporting liver and gallbladder detoxification and maintaining overall health. Environmental toxins, such as air pollution, pesticides, heavy metals, and household chemicals, can burden the liver and impair its detoxification capabilities. Additionally, exposure to toxic substances through personal care products, cleaning supplies, and plastics can contribute to toxin buildup in the body, further taxing the liver and gallbladder. To minimize toxic exposures and support detoxification, consider the following strategies:

  1. Choose organic produce whenever possible to reduce exposure to pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

  2. Filter tap water to remove contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, and industrial pollutants.

  3. Opt for natural cleaning products and personal care items free of harmful chemicals, such as phthalates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.

  4. Use glass or stainless steel containers for food storage instead of plastic, which can leach harmful chemicals into food and beverages.

  5. Practice proper ventilation in indoor spaces and use air filters to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from furniture, paint, and household products.

  6. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and recreational drugs or protect yourself when you drink.

  • Take Bile Essentials: Bile Essentials is a comprehensive supplement formulated to support liver and gallbladder function and promote healthy bile production. This supplement contains a synergistic blend of nutrients and herbal extracts that support detoxification processes, aid in the breakdown and elimination of toxins, and promote overall liver and gallbladder health. Ingredients such as artichoke leaf extract, beet, and ox bile help promote bile production and support optimal liver function, while other nutrients support overall detoxification and skin health.

4. Managing Stress and Cortisol Dysregulation:

  • Engage in CleanMIND Meditation Practices: CleanMIND meditation practices are designed to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and well-being. By focusing on the present moment and letting go of worries and anxieties, CleanMIND meditation can help calm the mind, soothe the nervous system, and alleviate the physical and emotional toll of chronic stress. CleanMIND meditations are accessible to all Cleanbody members. Click here to learn more about working with us.

  • Incorporate Breathing Exercises like the 4/7/8 Breath Technique: The 4/7/8 breath technique is a simple yet powerful breathing exercise that can help calm the nervous system and induce a state of relaxation. By inhaling deeply through the nose for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of seven, and exhaling slowly through the mouth for a count of eight, you can activate the body's relaxation response, reduce cortisol levels, and promote a sense of calm and tranquility.

  • Try Body Scan Meditations: Body scan meditations involve systematically bringing attention to different parts of the body, noticing any sensations or tension, and then consciously releasing that tension. By promoting mindfulness and bodily awareness, body scan meditations can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and alleviate physical discomfort, including itching sensations associated with eczema.

  • Consider Taking Cortisol-Balancing Supplements: Under the guidance of our Cleanbody team, you may consider incorporating cortisol-balancing supplements into your regimen to support healthy cortisol levels and manage stress effectively. These supplements may contain ingredients such as adaptogenic herbs, vitamins, and minerals that help regulate cortisol production, promote adrenal health, and support the body's stress response system. By addressing cortisol dysregulation, these supplements can help reduce inflammation, promote skin healing, and enhance overall well-being. Click here to learn more about working with us.

  • Use LI 11 Acupressure Point to Lower Itch: Another effective method for managing eczema itch is to utilize acupressure techniques, specifically targeting the LI 11 acupressure point. Located on the outer side of the elbow crease, LI 11 is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to help reduce inflammation and alleviate itching sensations. Gently massage the LI 11 point using circular motions or apply steady pressure for a few minutes several times a day to help alleviate eczema itch and promote skin comfort.

5. Supporting the Compromised Skin Barrier:

  • Use the CleanSKIN Kit to Nurture a Healthy Skin Barrier: The CleanSKIN Kit is specifically formulated to nourish and repair the compromised skin barrier associated with eczema. Enriched with a blend of emollients, humectants, and soothing botanical extracts, CleanSKIN Protect provides intensive hydration, helps restore the skin's lipid barrier, and calms inflammation. By creating a protective seal over the skin, CleanSKIN Protect helps reduce moisture loss and shields the skin from external irritants, promoting healing and alleviating discomfort. The CleanSKIN Kit also includes CleanSKIN Calm, a skin cleanser to address Staph on the skin, and CleanSKIN Restore, a topical probiotic to support a healthy microbiome on the skin. Purchase the CleanSKIN Kit below.

By addressing each of these underlying factors contributing to eczema itch, you can develop a comprehensive approach to managing symptoms and promoting skin health. Remember to consult with our Cleanbody team for personalized recommendations and guidance on implementing these solutions effectively.

Stay tuned for my next post on tackling eczema from the inside, out! At Cleanbody, we specialize in addressing chronic inflammatory disease like eczema. If you're interested in exploring personalized strategies to restore your microbiome and support overall health, we're here to help. Learn more about working with us!

About the Author:

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).


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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.



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