Disclaimer: This post contains both medical information (I don’t make medical claims here; I just point you to a medical resource that you might want to investigate if you have skin related medical concerns) and affiliate links (if you decide to purchase this book through my link, which may earn me props. While I don’t always include affiliate links when I put you on to something good, I only promote information that I feel would benefit you like it has me.)
I received this question in my inbox yesterday:
Renee – I’ve got weird patches all over my arms, legs, neck and hands. They started on my hands and were super mild when I saw my dermatologist. He said it was a form of eczema and prescribed an ointment. It doesn’t help and I don’t want to try any more chemicals. Do you think Beesilk will help? -Colleen
It’s due to these kinds of questions that I try to keep tabs on research related to identifying the root causes of eczema and other skin conditions.
I am always on the look out for research related to skin conditions like Colleen describes because I know it will likely take more than coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter to fix her eczema. I found quite a few answers in Dr. Axe’s new book Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It.
Although the book focuses on all kinds of symptoms of leaky gut, like arthritis, depression, migraines, fatigue and muscle pain, I’m honing in on skin conditions, specifically psoriasis, eczema and rashes.
Blake is one of Dr. Axe’s patients, who came in with his mother:
“He’s itchy all the time,” his mother said. “We’ve seen other doctors, and they want to put him on steroids and antibiotics. That seems awfully drastic for a young boy.” She’s right. They would likely have started with a prescription-strength corticosteroid cream.
Blake had rashes that covered his arm and face, his skin was swollen and red, and his skin dermatitis was about to crust and flake off.
What did Dr. Axe conclude after a thorough examination and a look at Blake’s health history?
“… the boy’s body was experiencing inflammation caused by allergic reactions to the foods he ate and household toxins he was being exposed to.” – Dr. Axe
Dr. Axe outlines various protocols for symptoms based on what gut type issue the patient has. I found this extremely helpful because many gut-related books seem overwhelming when it comes to where to start. He has a gut type quiz and the results should narrow down your gut issues to one of the following:
That list might overwhelm you, but once you read through each section, I assure you that you’ll be closer to nailing the issue you’re plagued with.
Dr. Axe suspected he had food sensitivities, most likely to gluten and casein, and he had allergic reactions to shampoo, laundry detergent and maybe even the linen in his bedsheets.
In order to confirm his suspicions, Dr. Axe tested him:
I had Blake take an IgG food intolerance test and an IgE allergy test, blood and skin tests that help me zero in on the cause of immune response, and the results were not surprising: Blake was sensitive to cow’s milk, gluten, strawberries, egg whites, and tree nuts and had several environmental allergies. Like so many children I’d seen, Blake’s multiple food and environmental sensitivities were the outward manifestations of leaky gut. – Dr. Axe, page 32.
Dr. Axe advised that he eat a gut-healing diet that included pears, blueberries, healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil), grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, steamed carrots, cauliflower and squash. He removed the food allergens from Blake’s diet. Because of his environmental allergies, he advised that Blake’s family toss their home-cleaning and body products and replace them with home-made versions, add certain essential oils, and add bentonite clay to his diet. (By the way, this is where the title/subject of the book comes in – he advises to literally eat dirt… as in bentonite clay.)
The dermatitis that covered Blake’s body and the eczema on his cheeks had disappeared.
Dr. Axe reminded Blake’s mother that coming in contact with household chemicals, including antibacterial soap, could cause his skin to react again. His gut lining would continue to get stronger but they still had to be vigilant in avoiding the triggers.
Now, I am obviously not a doctor and I can’t promise that following Dr. Axe’s protocol outlined in his book will guarantee the healing of eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea. But what Eat Dirt outlines is a very thorough break-down of the various forms of a leaky gut and what can be done about it. Because I have multiple questions via email come in about these skin conditions, I wanted to have a source to point people to. I do get emails from people who have been able to heal their skin conditions by identifying and eliminating food triggers (primarily eggs, dairy and nuts) and I firmly believe that there’s hope for people who can give it a try.
Whether you use Dr. Axe’s book or research on your own, I recommend that if you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, itchy skin or rash, go find out if you have other symptoms of leaky gut and see if that’s the cause.