Every now and then, starting from when I was around about 7 I’ve had a eczema on the inside of my knees and elbows which is primarily caused by stress. Before I came to France, the last time I had the it was during my final year of university. Unfortunately, leaving friends, family and job to be in an ultimately happier situation, has not been a stress-free process and the rash has shown its annoying face once again.
This time however, I am not blessed with the NHS, and the paperwork for Social Security is taking its sweet time to get sorted. So I decided to do a bit of research as to what I could do to help it die down and keep it at bay for longer. After speaking with a GP and doing a fair bit of research, I’ve found that there are in fact a few simple dietary changes I can make to aid my cause, and they are:
Dairy products – cows milk being the main culprit as it is quite acidic and contains hormones which aggravates the skin. I don’t use milk with my breakfast but by golly I use it in my tea and decaf (caffeine is also great for irritating the skin) coffee, so as of two weeks ago I switched to soya milk. It’s still early days however, I have noticed that I have been wanting to scratch much less.
Gluten – I don’t eat a huge amount of gluten as a general rule but it has meant that if we’ve gone round a friends and they’ve ordered in pizza or had nibbles etc., I’ve now had to eat my dinner before going, or if I’m already out before arriving I’ve nipped down to the shops to get something and on those occasions I’ve usually bought a banana, humous and carrots or a salad. Getting food on the go has been tricky as so much of what is available is bread based, but the choice is always there. Also this has meant I’ve had to become much better at taking my own food with me from home which also eliminates the waste aspect.
And no, France is not the best place in the world to switch to a more gluten and lactose-free diet.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHEESE?!
What about the cheese indeed, I’m going to make a weekly exception where I shall have a bit of cheese, not a lot and without bread and butter so as not to aggravate the rash further, but just un petit morceau to satisfy my blue cheese needs.
I’ve also increased the amount of fish I eat as the fatty acids are great for hydrating sky skin.
Things to bear in mind as a general rule is mainly just to eat food in its purest form: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats and organic, locally sourced fish. So really I’m not changing what I eat too much, but just becoming more conscious of food when on the go, the options are endless and very easy to find. It just emphasises that your body needs you to be kind to it for it to work well, and that there are long-term changes which you yourself can make before making the trip to the doctors.
SIDE NOTE: Someone asked me very recently if I was on a diet. Everyone is on a diet in one way or another, it’s not something you from which you can come off.
Some may be better than others but a diet is the way you eat, which is why this post is titled ‘A Slight Change in Diet’, not ‘My 2 Week Eczema Diet’. I know that 99.9% of you will know this and be thinking ‘well, duh’, but I wanted to underline this difference the word ‘diet’ is being thrown about left, right and centre incorrectly for quite some time and the more its used by its true definition, the better.
Thank you for reading this post 🙂