Re: Topical Steroid Problems
I'm happy to see that your suffering wasn't able to steal your sense of humor!!! It's also clear from your postings that you are a wise gentleman. It is based upon that wisdom that I want to appeal to you. Considering your postings, I should confirm what you've already discovered for yourself.
First I want to address the diet that brought about no change and rendered itself useless in your healing attempts. More important than the names of the food items that were eliminated from your diet, were the nutrients (vitamins & minerals) that were eliminated in the process. Gluten is defined as a mixture of plant proteins occuring in cereal grains (mainly corn & wheat), and is used as an adhesive or flour substitute. Corn is high in the essential fatty acid, Omega 6. Whole wheat is high in magnesium, an essential mineral. Wheat germ oil and corn oil are natural sources of vitamin E. The milk and cheese are natural sources of vitamin D and calcium. Chicken eggs contain the proteins, iron and phosphorous. The egg yolk is a rich source of vitamins A, B, & D.
Here is a brief overview of the importance of the above mentioned vitamins and minerals. A study of the vitamins and minerals on your own will give you a more detailed account of their importance to the healthy function of the human body.
---A severe Vitamin A deficiency leads to night blindness, thickening of the skin and mucuous membranes, and may make a person susceptible to upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, and conjunctivitis. With a Vitamin A deficiency, the hair becomes dull and brittle and the skin, dry, rough, and scaly (what does that sound like?).
---Vitamin B complex is a component of several different types of B vitamins. The list of symptoms and diseases that can be developed through a deficiency of the Complex B Vitamins is too long for me to mention here; therefore, I will just point out a few. A Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency can promote a condition called, cheilitis; which may manifest in the following symptoms: lesions around the corners of mouths or itching, burning, and excessive dryness of the eyes. Nicotinic Acid, a part of the B complex Vitamins, can contribute to skin dermatitis.
---Vitamin D is formed in the skin following exposure to the sun. Its primary function is to provide calcium and phosphorous for good bone health.
---Vitamin E is a component of tocopherols (a group of 4 chemically related compounds that differ slightly in structure)A,B,C & D. It has been used as a symptomatic treatment of fibrositis, muscular rheumatism, or muscular dystrophy. The reason being, is that it has been known to prevent contractures of tendons of the hands and fingers.
---Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid. Like Omega 3 and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), these essential fatty acids are important modulators of the inflammatory response. They increase the skin's ability to retain moisture by regulating the epidermal proliferation (skin cell reproduction) and skin cell exfoliation. These essential fatty acids are important in the treatment of eczema, contact and atopic dermatitis.
---Magnesium is an essential nutrient mineral. The symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, low energy, body tension, headaches, migraine headache, heart disorders, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, PMS, dysmenorrhea, osteoporosis, muscle tension, muscle cramp or spasm, backaches, kidney stones, and accelerated aging.
To me, it is clear why the diet didn't work; especially if the nutrients that those foods provide naturally weren't supplemented in your diet. THE KEY IS BALANCE. Just like those vitamins and minerals are essential to good health, an overdose of those vitamins and minerals in the body (like a deficiency of those vitamins and minerals) can also cause serious damage to the body. Balance, balance, balance. Out of all the vitamins and minerals that I've listed above; however, the one that stands out to me the most regarding your condition is the magnesium. The main reason being, the osteoporosis, muscle tension, and muscle cramps or spasms. If you read more about magnesium and its relationship to calcium, you will understand why I've referred to a magnesium deficiency in your case and not a calcium deficiency. In addition to the search engine on this website regarding magnesium, you can also check out the following website (tsangenterprise.com).
Especially when referring to eczema sufferers, it is also important to understand the importance of foods that contain beta carotene. Beta carotene boosts good immune health. Carrots, collard greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green & romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, grapefruit, apricots, and canteloupe are some of the foods that provide beta carotene naturally. Some of these food items may produce allergic reactions in people; however and because the list is so varied, there are several food items that one could choose from to obtain the natural source of beta carotene despite an allergen to one or more of the food items. I'm a big believer that the green vegetables and carrots have played a major role in my nieces' longterm success with eczema free skin.
Now on to the next point, allergy testing. The interesting point that you made regarding your testing positive to reactions for items that were rarely (if not never) a part of your environment, is the same concern that I've had with the testings. They may help to narrow the field of possible allergen/irritants; however, they still leave the door open to undetected allergen/irritants. This is why I refer to the sufferers or parents of suffering children as the best detectives in the case of eczema. The allergen/irritant that's promoting the breakout is under your nose; in other words, in your immediate, surrounding environment. Pet dander and dust mites in the air can be addressed through the use of a good (not all are good) air purifier system. I recommend the Ionic Breeze because it's a smart machine (in my personal opinion). Many people are deterred due to the cost; however, many people have already paid 10x more the cost in prescription medicines. Another way of effectively eliminating dust or bed mites from an individual's environment is through dust mite resistant bed linens and mattress covers. The is a simple and much cheaper solution; however, many people assume that it's too simple to make a difference (I don't agree). Even mainstream media and advertisement are now addressing the issue of allergens in the home; therefore, you know there has got to be something to this issue. It could even be the presence of toxic household cleansers in your home that contribute to your eczema. In either case, these can all be remedied.
Finally, I want to address your skin care. And humbly suggest an alternative to your current skin care that you may want to consider. There is a company called, Shikai, which produces a fragrance free lotion for dry skin. It is called Borage Skin Therapy Lotion and it comes in pediatric and adult formulations. It is a natural lotion that contains borage oil, a natural source of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). If you remember from the information above, GLA is an essential fatty acid that helps to retain skin moisture. I would suggest purchasing the Shikai (fragrance free) bath shower gel as well. The bath and shower gel contains colloidal oatmeal and aloe, which contains natural anti-itch and anti-oxidant properties.
I think that a good Nutritionist is equally as important as a good Dermatologist for eczema sufferers. I am neither a Nutritionist or a Dermatologist; but I have done a lot of research in the area of eczema suffering (still more to do), and through applying the wisdom gained, have seen the results of 5 years of eczema-freedom naturally. A severe case convinced me that no case was impossible for the human body to handle as long as it was given the proper fueling. BALANCE IS KEY. Your good health can be restored. I have no doubt!!!