When you’re a natural mama and you pride yourself on knowing about natural remedies, eating weird foods, and being Dr. Mom, having a setback like eczema is really humbling. When my son developed an eczema rash last fall, I was really disappointed. I felt like I was failing him.
We were on the GAPS intro diet, and instead of just taking his health to the next level (he’s never had any other health concerns), it uncovered an eczema rash we thought we had taken care of long before. That’s both the good and frustrating thing about GAPS: it uncovers hidden health conditions. For my little guy, it was eczema.
We continued with GAPS intro, but once we were done, the eczema was still there. Then the holidays hit and we really slacked on our diet, eating lots of starches and some natural sugars. His eczema flared worse than ever.
We struggled on through winter, mostly ignoring it, and occasionally putting some lotion on it. By mid-winter his skin was starting to crack in a couple of places. It was so disheartening, knowing I could fix it, but feeling overwhelmed with the thought of going back on GAPS at that point.
What causes an eczema rash?
Eczema is not really a skin condition, so much as a condition of inner ecosystem imbalance. It results from a lack of good bacteria in the gut, which allows the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. When the pathogenic bacteria take over, leaky gut can set in, and food proteins begin to leak out of the gut undigested.
When these undigested proteins leak through the gut rather than become digested nutrients the body can use, they can affect the skin, resulting in conditions like eczema. Eczema is essentially an autoimmune condition in which the skin becomes the target.
It can also be strongly associated with other conditions like asthma and behavioral problems.
I tried to remove dairy from his diet. We had had success in the past with easing eczema by removing dairy. But every time I tried to get strict about dairy, he ended up getting it anyways because everyone else in our family was still eating it. We would forget, or he would accidentally get some, or we would just get lazy.
It was frustrating knowing that I knew what I should do, but not being disciplined enough to do it.
He’s three now, but when he was one, we had a similar experience. He developed eczema out of nowhere, which improved with removing dairy from his diet.
Changing his diet then helped, but, ultimately, there was something else that cleared it right up, and he was able to go back to to eating dairy with no problems! We utilized the same treatment recently when he had this eczema flare and got quick results: clear, smooth skin in a matter of weeks.
And, we didn’t even change his diet. In fact, his diet was probably worse than it’s ever been. Following GAPS, we reintroduced starches like potatoes and some gluten-free grains, and even ate out at restaurants a few times- including gluten!
I was feeling the pressure and knew we needed to get control of our diet again, but I also knew I had a secret weapon to combat the eczema rash.
My secret eczema weapon
I wrote a while back about how to choose a good probiotic. I’ve tried lots of different probiotics: cheap ones you can buy at the grocery store, pricey ones you can get at health food stores, even really expensive ones you order online. I have never had such great success as I have with Smidge Sensitive Probiotic.
Because Smidge was meticulously created for those with sensitive guts, it is gentle, but because it is highly concentrated, it is incredibly effective. We had out of Smidge for a little while when the eczema popped up, but started back up on a fresh bottle just over a month ago.
Look at these before and after pictures:
The first picture is only about a month or so ago, the second one a couple weeks ago, and the third one was yesterday.
Smidge healed my little one’s eczema right up without us doing anything differently!
Smidge really is unlike any other probiotic we’ve used. Although it is pricey for the small bottle, it is highly concentrated, so one bottle lasts our family of six for four months or longer. If you add up the cost of buying lesser-priced (and lesser quality!) probiotics, the price of Smidge is actually considerably more affordable, it’s just a bit of an investment up front.
Diet isn’t the only cure
Don’t get me wrong, diet is tremendously important. I wouldn’t recommend someone continue eating the standard American diet full of refined grains and sugars, processed dairy, and trans fats if they had eczema.
Because we already had a clean diet, inflammation wasn’t such an issue. Additionally, our little guy has never been vaccinated or taken antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals. All of these things helped to give his body a good shot at getting over the eczema quickly.
But I think there is a lot of nutrition to be found in dairy products, particularly raw milk and cultured foods like kefir, yogurt, and creme fraiche (sour cream). I’m glad we were able to find a cure for my son’s eczema rash without having to give up the nutrition of dairy.
Some parents may even be stuck on trying to cure their little one’s eczema, to no avail, even with major diet changes. We were certainly eating better than ever when our little guy got it. Sometimes a good probiotic is the missing link.
If your little one is struggling with eczema or other gut health issues, Smidge is definitely worth trying!
Read more about healing eczema.