Letters from the SCD support group: concerning skin rashes and excema

Wed, 16 Apr 1997 12:46:32 GMT

>Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 Does anyone have problems with skin rashes? My daughter continues to get better, but her skin rashes get worse. This week she had a full blown outbreak of eczema. Is there a relationship between skin problems and "leaky gut"?
I've treated her with topical aloe vera, oatmeal baths, and have started her on a EPA formula again with some success. Thanks.

Joyce Lavery

Re: rashes
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 17:24:16 GMT

Hi Joyce,

In my experience there is a connection between leaky gut and skin problems. I've been a sufferer of eczema since I was ten years old. Since being on the diet for approx. two months now, it has gradually gone away. I don't understand exactly the mechanism of how it happens though -- why leaky gut causes skin problems. I imagine there is a kind of auto-immune response going on.

Best wishes, Denise

Skin rash
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 17:55:47 GMT

Joyce & others,

I get these small, round, red patches on my back, legs, arms. They start out looking like bug bites, but then the redness goes away and the skin turns very dry and flakey and they get to be about the size of a quarter. Just a small dry patch that itches like crazy!

Can I have some suggestions on how to treat this. How do I stop the itching? What can I do for the dryness. I've used lotion, oils, etc. nothing seems to work. But I've never connected it to my crohn's until Joyce's note.

Warmest regards, Jim

Re: Skin rash
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 19:06:23 GMT

The description above is that of exzema. I had replied to Joyce previously about this, but since others are interested, I thought I'd also post to the list.

Skin problems are totally related to the gastrointestinal tract. I got excema, acne, and boils, plus erythema nodosum when I was first diagnosed. Usually, when there's something going on in the gut, it will express on the skin. This is very common. If you want to know what helped me with the skin, it was Homeopathy.
If you can find a GOOD, QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED Homeopathic Practitioner, it would be well worth it. I suggest you go to your public library first, and do some research. There are many books written on the subject of homeopathy which explain it very well, and in terms you can understand.
When I read about it, I realized it really made sense. I am currently undergoing treatment from a good homeopath that I found via an internet refferal page. Come to think of it, there is also a lot of info about it on the net, if you do a few searches. Trust me, it's well worth the time and effort.

Whatever you do, don't go to a dermatologist or MD about it except as a last resort. Unless it is very severe, I would advise against consulting any MDs about excema at all for the simple reason that they tend to use cookbook medicine, which equals a prescription for steroid creams. These creams have a tiny percentage of corticosteroid in them, which is the exact same thing as prednisone. And if you know anything about the effects of prednisone, you will want to be wary about using any steroid products unnecessarily. Now, I can almost guarantee that a GP or Dermatologist will give you those creams, simply because that is the protocal, and they "think" it is harmless.
The problem with the creams is that although they may seem to cure the problem very quickly, the body does not see it that way. The body sees it as a suppression of a symptom it is trying to express, and the body's reaction to this suppression is to drive the expression further within the body. It will pop up again, as some other symptom; maybe a flareup of IBD, or some other problem.
This may not be what your used to hearing, but I did not invent this theory. I learned about it from reading about homeopathy. I believe that somehow, all the years of steroid creams, steroid inhalers, and antibiotics given to me by my doctors for skin conditions and allergies contributed to my getting CD.
I know I have not "proof" for this theory, but it is definately a possibility. If I had known then what I know now, I never would have used all those meds. It was not worth it. I think that each time my body tried to express an imbalance, I suppressed it the wrong way, instead of re-establishing the balance through natural methods like homeopathy or botanical medicine. Don't worry, I'm not a natural-only fanatic; I have taken plenty of drugs for my CD, but when it comes to skin problems, MDs don't really know the best way to deal with them.

I hope this didn't sound too lecturing, because I just wanted to pass on something that may be of help.
I know I would have wanted someone to do the same for me years ago. Anna

Re: Skin rash
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 22:35:47 GMT

Thanks for the responses. I've done some internet searches and found a useful site, "Altered Immunity & the Leaky Gut Syndrome". The author links this syndrome with Crohns and other digestive and auto-immune diseases including eczema -- the toxins that leak through a permuable intestinal wall can affect the health of the skin-- this site is at: http://www.naturallink.com/homepages/zoltan_rona/leaky/
Also -- the Julius Roth Foundation -- http://www.flair.co.uk/jroth/index.htm offers natural topical treatments that are supposedly curative.
So far,I've avoided giving my daughter prednisone. Interestingly enough, she was given a short course of prednisone for asthma 3 years ago (I told her doctor to never ask me to give it to her again), and she started having a host of other symptoms -- stomach aches, lack of appetite, etc. this is probably typical. I don't think the prednisone was causative,but aided in creating leaky gut syndrome, candida, etc.
My two sisters both suffered from adult onset colitis and did the steriods for long periods of time and have had long term side effects-- Both sisters begged me not to give their niece prednisone and to find another therapy. Both of my sisters now have been in "remission" for over ten years each after finding natural therapies and making radical dietary changes. For me, finding the SCD made perfect sense!

Joyce Lavery <joycekling@hotmail.com>

Re: Homeopathy (skin rash)
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 3:13:19 GMT

Anna, I too have been helped immensely by homeopathy. Before I was on the SCD, it was what made life liveable for me. Helped me a lot with headaches I used to get that were related to my digestive problems, also bloating and gas. I would like to reiterate what you said about finding a very reputable homeopath if you want to try it. It is a healing system that takes years of study.
My husband is a homeopath (lucky me) and he is studying constantly, always trying to learn more. It is never-ending. There are also different schools of thought within homeopathy, traditionalists or purists and newer schools of thought that prescribe based either acute, chronic or constitutional level problems (may use more than one remedy) -- so all homeopaths are not necessarily the same at all.
I've studied a ton of homeopathy myself because I was so desperate about my health and learned a lot. Many times I was the one who found the right remedy for my problem.
This may sound weird but I once dreamed of a remedy I had never heard of before that helped me with some severe bloating and gas that began to occurr for me at one point! However, my skin problems never cleared up until I was on the SCD. Thank you for sharing your experience about homeopathy.
I don't think you sounded too lecturey at all. Those of us who have ventured out into alternative and complimentary medicine in search of healing are out here too.

Best regards Denise

Re: Skin rash
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 7:20:18 GMT


Those red patches sound a lot like a possible side effects of azulfadine and related medicines.
I was warned that the appearance, and especially persistence of such rashes might be cause to discontinue the drug. If you're on any medication, you should mention these rashes to your doctor and pharmacist.


Bill's concerns
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 17:49:01 GMT


I am not on azulfadine, haven't taken it in years. The only meds I take now are pentasa, and hydrocortisone. And I did tell my doctor about the skin rash. He told me to see a dermatologist.


Re: rashes
Sat, 19 Apr 1997 15:38:58 GMT

Yes I know what your talking about and strangely enough I found the same thing. The better the gut gets, the worse the skin problems. I found you need to treat the gut to try and neutralise the toxins and stop the leaking.

I've found the following helpful

Slippery Elm bark powder
Psyllium husks,
Avoid nuts (they scrape and tear.
emphasise soft watery dishes, high in vegetables
Minimise meat eliminate red meat
Emphasise chicken and a variety of fish, and some vegetable protein
Minimise the simple sugars (honey/fruit and dried fruit)
Emphasise pumpkins/courgettes and carrots.
Use enemas or suppositries even if no bleeding.
Employ massage techniques esp to upper thighs mid section and
forearms.(pressure points here)

Hope that helps


Leaky gut, skin, insomnia
Sat, 19 Apr 1997 16:07:35 GMT

Davis, CA

Thanks for the tips on supplements and such, Michael.
I too have found that the gut sometimes leaks more as it heals. That has been my experience -- at least, at times. In general I feel my leaky gut has healed on the SCD but sometimes, I swear, it seems to revert to it's leakier state, and then I get different symptoms, like skin stuff (besides some acne and eczema, at times my face just looks red, with no real irritation, it just looks like I've been out in the sun. I was wondering if anyone else's face gets red, related to leaky gut or intestinal symptom increase?) -- I also get insomnia at times, seems also to be related to leaky gut (not pain or having to get up to use the bathroom).

Does anyone else out there have trouble with insomnia? The reason I am fairly convinced mine is related to leaky gut is because it has gotten way better since I've been on the diet. I am trying to pay attention to the kinds of things I eat when I have the insomnia. It seems like eating simple sugars -- like honey and dried fruit -- seems to be an irritant. I am trying to learn more about food sensitivity/food allergies in general, beyond the scd, and how they might relate to this, if anyone cares to share experiences or point me in the direction of some web information, I would really appreciate it.

Best regards,

Re: major shift of events
Sat, 19 Apr 1997 16:37:36 GMT

Hi Denise

Don't worry these are the classic symptoms of the early stages of UC (and Crohnes disease as well?)

Are you taking any meds?
Codeine? This will cause constipation.

Take Slippery Elm and Psyllium 4 times a day, 1 tsp each


Your posting 16 Jun to SCD group re skin
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 1:21:09 GMT

Hi, Barbara:

My naturopath always assesses the skin & the ear canal. According to what we learned in massage school, the skin & the bowel are one continuum, and the bowel is actually an "outside" organ like the skin even though we think of it as "inside" ... it's all like a donut folding in a big circle, if you can visualize that.

So it's always made sense to me that "as goes the bowel, so goes the skin".
And I've noticed already many years ago if the sugar intake was high (when I was still eating that) the skin would be bad, incl. very dry, and scalp dandruffy, and nose dry & flaky & red ... a reflection of the inner bowel mess!


Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 15:59:12 PST

Subject: excema

About excema, I have had it many times too. I believe it's caused both by Prednisone AND IBD. It is common to get it when tapering off pred. There is not much you can do when you are trying to get off pred. I don't use the cortisone creams that the MDs will prescribe for it because of my belief that it just further suppresses the immune system, causing the body to try and express the imbalance through more and more internal organs. In my experience, it's best to just wait it out because it will go away on it's own.
It's hard to accept this, but it's really the best thing for your body. I found that a multi-mineral supplement and seeing an experienced homeopath seemed to help get rid of the eczema also. It may have just gone away by itself though, I don't know. It's worth a try. Tapering off prednisone can result in a lot of new effects that you haven't experienced before. Excema, and hair loss are 2 of them. It does get better, and being on the SCD is what saved me. I still maintain that I never would have been able to get off of prednisone if I hadn't found the SCD.

Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 01:35:02 -0400
From: Don Wiss <donwiss @ panix . com>

Subject: Re: figs? excema

Matthew Cirillo <mcirill@EMORY.EDU> wrote:
>Also, I get bouts of skin excema (spelling?), which go away with
>prednisone. When I go off it, the excema comes back.

Eczema is a word often used for many different skin problems. Out in the newsgroups the most common cause of eczema is dairy consumption. It is a reaction to the protein, which would be high in cheese. Also there are some reports of it clearing up on a gluten-free diet, but gluten generally only gets blamed for dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a burning itchy rash symmetrically distributed. But being on the SCD you would be GF, so it can't be gluten. It also could be other foods. There are food sensitivity tests that can check for antibodies that have been formed in reaction to some food that the body is fighting. These antibodies would be circulating and are the cause of DH, and could also be the cause of eczema. So you have to figure out which food still in your diet is causing the problem. The Prednisone is depressing the immune system and keeping it from producing the antibodies that it wants to produce.


Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 10:44:00 -0700
From: Sheila Shea <ratany@AZSTARNET.COM>

Subject: Re: figs? excema

>Also, I get bouts of skin excema (spelling?), which go away with
>prednisone. When I go off it, the excema comes back. Does anyone else
>with UC also get excema, or anyone on prednisone have a similar
>experience? (I'm dropping down slowly to 5mg/day of prednisone, and,
>sure enough, my excema is starting to act up... I don't know if it is
>related to UC or predinisone or both.
I attended an excellent lecture on eczema at the SW College for
Naturopathic Medicine in AZ in 1996. The Naturopathic view is that eczema
is the result of a disruption in the normal functioning of the digestive
system liver, immune system, nervous system, and the skin.
The factors which cause this disruption include food allergies (SCD diet
essential), environmental sensitivities, emotional stress, contact
irritants, and genetic predispotition.
The metaphor of eczema is suppressed anger.
The ND suggested among other things reducing allergic potential and
environmental sensitivity while providing nutritiion to the skin. Her main
3 herbal choices are NETTLES, SKULLCAP, and ROSE HIPS. You might want to
key these out in an herb book. Her lecture was extensive and tapes were/are
She then went through each system and mentioned her favorite herbs.
Lastly she mentioned nutrients such as the EFA's (essential fatty acids)
which are known to build, heal, repair the epithelium or intestinal lining
such as flax seed, 1-2 TBS daily, and you could explore evening primrose,
borage, black current, and hemp oil. The latter is considered the premier
Tincture of CHICKWEED is applied to the skin for itching.
Let me know if this is helpful.
I am finding that most cases of intestinal distress are accompanied by skin
problems, ie psoriasis, eczema, hives, impatigo, rashes, athlete's foot,

Kind Regards,
Sheila Shea
Tucson AZ------------------
Always interested in Intestinal Health and Colon Hydrotherapy issues.

Listserv on Intestinal Health now available.
Go to: http://listserv.azstarnet.com/cgi-bin/lwgate/INTEST_HEALTH/
to subscribe or unsubscribe

Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 15:06:13 -0700
From: Dempsey <stellar1@PACBELL.NET>

Subject: Re: figs? excema

I just wanted to respond to the eczema question. My experience is that
my eczema flares up whenever my gut gets a little irritated. For me,
the diet in general has helped my skin a lot (including EFA's and
anti-oxidant supplements). Also switching to a non-soap cleanser like


Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 22:49:15 -0500
From: " joyce k " <etkjmk@q1.net>
To: <SCD-list@longisland.com>
Subject: skin problems

> Janice,
> While I haven't had any experience with hives, your story reminds me of
> something else.
> One of the principles in homeopathy is that when long standing illnesses
> start to improve, skin problems will develop. The homeopathy people look
> at the onset of skin problems as a good sign.
> It sounds like you are undergoing a classic path to better health, at
> least according to the homeopaths.
> I tried homeopathy but it didn't help me, nor did I ever experience any
> onset of skin symptoms during treatment.
> Tom


That is good news as since I have been following this diet I have a red rash in the bend of my elbow, plus I itch like crazy.

Thanks for sharing that.

One question, my son has skin problems and some IBS I would hate to see his skin get worse....... He is 31 and Autistic, 6'6" 200 lbs. muscle and bones so I doubt I can Make him stay off the sweets, and go on this diet. He has part time job so has spending money and buys his own goodies.....

Joyce in OH

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