Grassfed Tallow for Eczema (Part 1)
Eczema is chronic inflammation. To be specific, eczema - or atopic dermatitis - happens when hydration of the stratum corneum (the outer layer of the skin) decreases and water loss increases, resulting in chronic inflammation.
Inflammation definitely merits its own blog post, but the first connection I made with my eczema and anything was diet-related. When I started to clean up my nutrition and really learn about the effects of sugar, dairy, gluten, night-shades, soy, and mold-prone nuts (cashews, peanuts, etc.), I found out the thing they all had in common was that they caused inflammation.
What are things caused by inflammation? Bloating and gas, fluid retention, constipation, upset stomach, arthritis, brain fog, sore joints, and eczema. This list is by no means comprehensive nor does it touch on the long-term effects of chronic inflammation.
As a teenager (while still living in humid Montreal), I would have bouts of eczema on my eyelids and hands. They were never too bad, but it was hard to find a prescribed cream to put on my eyelids (because most cortisol creams tend to thin the skin so that's not ideal for already-thin areas). It usually happened in the winter. Did I mention I was a competitive swimmer? That meant at least two hours every day in a chlorinated pool.
Looking back, I can say: "Well, dry winter plus super-dehydrating chlorine PLUS the fact that I basically became addicted to sugar around then definitely equals eczema". At that time I just learned to live with it. I didn't have acne, but I had bouts of eczema. Better off than most teens, right?
When I moved to Calgary for university, the eczema spread to my mouth and the corners of my nose: I was still swimming (for the first year), still eating lots of empty carbs, and, well, Calgary is the driest place on earth. I tried getting another prescription: they gave me Tetracycline. I vividly remember picking it up and the label said "for treatment of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia" and wanting to die as I took it from the pharmacist. The only thing tetracycline did was cause me to break out in a full body rash so I stopped trying prescribed eczema medicines and just tried to cover it with makeup when I needed to.