My Eczema Journey | How I Manage My Eczema Naturally

My Eczema Journey | How I Manage My Eczema Naturally

– Hi guys, I’m Zena. I’m the Editorial Director at Hum and I struggle with really bad eczema. (relaxed music) So eczema was never something I dealt with until two years ago. I’m 30 years old, so when I was 28 I just suddenly had this weird onset that started as just a
little bit of dryness on like two fingertips I remember, and then it just started to
spread over the whole finger and then it started
happening on the left hand. It started just being really dry and then it started to actually
like get these tiny blisters all over that would start
to weep and then crust and then scale and just horrible, horrible eczema all over my hands. (relaxed music) So the really hard part about
having eczema on your hands is that we use them for everything. At my peak worst eczema, I
wouldn’t wanna do dishes, I wouldn’t wanna do laundry, I really wouldn’t wanna
have to wash my hair. I wouldn’t want to have my hands on camera at work as I sometimes do. I didn’t wanna do yoga. That was really hard. That’s something that I enjoy and is my number one physical activity, so you’re obviously on
your hands a lot for that. All of that was super hard and just unappealing with
little, red, crabby eczema hands. (relaxed music) Having this problem really
made me feel trapped in my body and that was a really hard thing. I felt really embarrassed by it. Some specific memories I have
about dealing with eczema is something as simple as
being on a date with someone and being so nervous
that they were gonna like try and hold my hand and
like touch and feel like dry, crusty eczema skin. That really just had me so anxious. There was one time where I remember, I went to a farmers market and I was just trying to look at jewelry. I was out with my friend,
trying to have a good day, and the woman at the booth, like I went to reach for
something and she went, “Oh, that looks really bad. “Oh, eczema, oh what’s going on there?” And she wanted to hear about it, and I think she had
the best of intentions, but I just remember thinking like, it sucks to just be trying
to go about your day, look at earrings, have a nice time, and have that be the first thing that someone notices
about you and just like, just constantly bringing it
to the forefront of your mind, even when you’re trying to
relax and not worry about it. (relaxed music) I did seek out the help of
dermatologists pretty early on, I think in total I ended up seeing four different dermatologists and they had some different
things that they prescribed. My first dermatologist
prescribed a steroid ointment and an ointment is really thick, it’s kind of like Vaseline texture, so they gave me a prescription
for that and I just remember, I put it on and it was so goopy and like I felt like this is kind of an impossible recommendation because it meant that once I put that on, I couldn’t touch anything,
it got all over my sheets, it was really messy and
I really didn’t like the usability of that. And didn’t really see results, so I kinda gave up on that. Another dermatologist
prescribed a more expensive, non-steroidal prescription
cream for eczema and I tried using that and it actually did help to
calm it down for a few days and then it like,
immediately flared back up and was just as bad as ever. The last dermatologist I saw suggested that I go back to the steroidal ointment even after I kind of complained that I felt like it was
messy and hard to use and she said that I should use it at night and then wrap my hands in saran wrap and sleep like that every
night to get my hands better. (record scratching) (crickets chirping) That, for me, was like a real low, ’cause I just felt like she
wasn’t taking into account the way that I actually
had to live my life. That might be fine to try once or twice, but to be recommended that
as a long term solution, I thought was really unfair
and I just didn’t feel seen or heard as a human
being with a life to live outside of saran wrapped
hands while I sleep. That same dermatologist said, “Well, the last resort
that I think we should “look at next is ingesting steroids.” So taking steroid pills
just to help manage this. And I immediately was like,
“I don’t wanna do that.” And she was like, “I know
you don’t wanna do that, “no one should wanna have to do that, “it’s probably gonna make you gain weight, “it might give you some mood problems. “There’s all these nasty side effects, “but at least your hands will be better.” And I just remember crying in her office and feeling so broken, ’cause it was basically like, you are gonna be broken either way. You will be either broken in your hands with scaly eczema hands or gaining weight and having a terrible time,
but your hands will be clear. So that was a really hard time. I just felt like I was
seeing dermatologists basically every week and
every time the advice just made me feel like
there were no good options and that somehow my body was just broken and never going to work totally correct. (relaxed music) Some of the best advice
I’ve ever heard about skin in my career at Hum was from Hayley Wood, she’s an intuitive facialist,
I have another video, we’ll link it down below. But she told me that
your skin has an ability to heal itself and that
really resonated with me. So I stopped using all the
topical treatments I had. I had some over the counter stuff, I still had some prescription stuff and I decided to just, first and foremost, cut it out so my skin could get a break and just figure out what
it was doing on its own. Then, I got into some
more natural testing. So I thought a good person to go to would be actually Sarah Greenfield. She is a registered
dietician on our channel that I work with, and I started asking her what tests I could take to see if there was anything going on internally that I could help solve
my eczema from inside. So she recommended a stool test first. Sarah loves the stool test. That looks at your
digestion, what’s going on, and it actually came back pretty clear. When she looked at my results, she’s like, “There’s not a lot of candida here, “there’s nothing totally out of balance, “so I don’t think that’s it.” So then she recommended the
MRT Food Sensitivity test. So I took that and I found out
that I had sensitivities to soy, broccoli, cauliflower, and sugar. And I have such a sweet tooth, broccoli’s my favorite vegetable, soy is in everything. So it was these ingredients that I was actually exposed to a lot of. So I decided to try and remove them and see what happened. And that meant avoiding them in my diet. I also went through all
of my skincare products to see what ingredients were included. I got rid of some face
wash that had sugar in it or some things that had soy in it. I also got rid of my laundry
detergent had a soy ingredient, so just removing all of those things and avoiding them as much as possible. And slowly but surely, my hands actually started to clear up. (upbeat music) It’s been several months now and my hands are just so much better. I still have a little patch. I have a little patch right here and that’s because I ate
some sugar yesterday, and I do really notice
a correlation between when I avoid those things a lot and how clear my hands get and when I introduce some of them, they’ll flare up a little. But on the whole, just
avoiding them as much as I can has really improved my situation so much and I feel so much more free having control of my hands again and just feeling like I
can do whatever I need to without worrying about itchiness
or redness or painfulness. So it’s been a really
amazing progress for me. So removing those
ingredients was really key, I also try and support my skin by taking some of our supplements that I think have worked for me in just keeping them in a good place. So I take OMG, which is our fish oil, Red Carpet, which is
also plant-based omegas. Skin Heroes, which is
a pre- and pro-biotic that’s formulated for
skin and also vitamin D. So those are the things
that I just take everyday. I feel like it helps to just give an extra layer
of protection for my skin, but really it was the
key of just eliminating all of those things that
were inflaming my skin and then adding in some little extra support as a precaution. The difference in my hands, between then and now, is so huge, like right now
they look like normal hands. They’re clear, it’s great, but they really were like red,
itchy little lobster claws, so I’ve been so grateful to
just be able to manage this using those simple techniques. (upbeat music) The biggest lesson I
learned in all of this is that really, you are
always the ultimate authority in your body and what’s best for you. I was getting so much
information and advice from dermatologists and even
from friends who wanted to help but in the end a lot of it
just made me feel overwhelmed, it made me feel guilty for
not taking their advice, for not feeling like
it was working for me. And so I think that was just
the biggest lesson is like, at the end of the day, it’s you. It’s your skin. You keep looking for
answers that speak to you. Our motto at Hum is that
beauty starts from within and that really was
true for me in the end, because it was through
listening to my own intuition and following my own
feelings about treatments that I was able to come to an answer that happened to be from the inside out. If you have eczema, I
would never presume to say that what works for me is
definitely gonna work for you, and that’s because everyone is different and everyone is unique and I think it’s so
important to honor that. But I would just tell you
that you’re not alone, and that I know first-hand what a horrible struggle it can be and how emotionally and
physically taxing it is. So just know that you’re not alone. Managing my eczema truly was a journey, and even more than I
want to recommend like an exact test that I took or specific ingredients that I eliminated, I think the best advice
I really can give you is just to love and accept yourself at every part of that
journey towards your healing and to just not give up and to know that you’re the boss of your own skin. Don’t let anybody else tell
you what to do with it. It’s yours to keep and take care of. So that’s it, that’s
my entire eczema story. If you have eczema, I’m so sorry. We’re here for you. Feel free to comment below, to vent or ask any questions
you have about my journey. I’m so happy to answer those for you. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and we will see you very soon. (upbeat music) There’s so many things that just felt impossible with eczema. Let me do another take
that’s a little cleaner. Okay. (laughing) So ready, okay. (upbeat music)

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  1. I struggle with eczema every winter on my legs, elbows, and finger tips. As soon as it get slightly cold, the itching starts. Going vegan and coffee free has helped a lot, but hasn’t gotten rid of it completely. Thanks for this video and for sharing your journey! <3

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