Saturday, June 21, 2014

Athlete's Foot or Eczema?

A couple weeks ago my feet started itching, specifically around both my big toes and the toe next to them. It was pretty bad.Very uncomfortable.

My first guess was that it was athlete's foot. I have never had that before but my brothers have, growing up, so I knew it was extremely irritating and caused intense itching.

I usually try the natural route first, so I went and religiously put on some neutralizer gel with some essential oils (I used tea tree oil). It helped a LITTLE bit, for a LITTLE while. Then the pain and itching would come back with a vengeance.

I live in Panama where no one wears shoes, everyone is in sandals. So while it is rainy season here, everything is exposed to air and so I didn't think athlete's foot could be so predominant. But the itching became even more intense it was already affecting my poor sleep. So I turned to a Lamasil-type of ointment, specifically for athlete's foot. I used that twice a day, and again, only for a little while did I feel any relief, then the itching would come back full force. And I cannot control myself. I scratched and scratched (and washed my hands constantly because I thought this was a fungus on my feet!). The skin was so dry and irritated, and red. Little tiny bumps that were very itchy were visible.

I also did foot soaks with Miracle II soap, hydrogen peroxide and lavender essential oil. Those felt so good.... until a few hours later when the itching would come back.

By this time, I posted on an essential oil group on Facebook, asking if there is any recommendation for things I haven't tried. I was all ready to go to the doctor's office the next morning.

Someone posted that said it sounded a lot like eczema, as the symptoms are the same, and if I have been treated for over a week with no results, the way I have been treating the "Athlete's foot" was by pulling moisture out of my skin. It would make eczema WORSE.

I did some quick research and it appeared that could be the case. According to this article, it seems that my type of eczema was dyshidrotic eczema:

Eczema is a rash that has an appearance and symptoms similar to athlete's foot. Eczema can appear as small, circular areas of thick, scaly skin or as larger, less distinct lesions. Typical causes of eczema include skin irritation from overexposure to moisture (sweat) or overly-dry skin that occurs due to low humidity or excess heat exposure.
One form of eczema that tends to occur on the tips or sides of the toes and fingers, known as dyshidrotic eczema, is intensely itchy and produces red, scaly areas of cracked skin with tiny blisters. Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema that frequently occurs in infants and children. This form of eczema may be associated with a history of allergy or asthma. Atopic dermatitis often presents as areas of thickened, scaly skin with increased depth and appearance of skin lines.

So, I tried putting on my tallow cream that I make. INSTANTLY I felt better. I added Frankincense essential oil that should help with inflammation, and the rest is history. The relief is so amazing, and I am very grateful.

I have never experienced eczema before, but I learned that it could stem from a few things.

  • First, it can be simply because your skin is reacting to a climate change, with a lot of dryness and heat. This is probably the easiest to treat and will respond quickly with something like the tallow cream.
  • It also can be caused by experiencing a lot of stress in your life. This also is somewhat easy to treat (from my research) by focusing on decreasing your stress and treating the symptoms.
  • The scary cause of eczema can be due to allergies -- either environmental or food related. I call this scary because it is most always auto-immune related and while you CAN cure it, it is very hard and takes a lot of work. 

I have taken a food allergy response test, and did not have any allergens that were labeled "severe". I had three allergens (out of almost 100) that were in the moderate range (not severe): corn, yeast, and shellfish. While that doesn't mean my eczema is caused by one of the other two reasons listed above, or possibly environmental allergens, it gives me hope that it is because of stress or dryness. I am experiencing a lot of stress from planning a move at the end of the month, so I can focus on stress relief while treating it with that awesome tallow cream.

It has been a few days since I started using the tallow, and I have not had any intense itching sessions since. How awesome is that!? I feel very grateful to have such quick relief.

I have some friends who are dealing with eczema worse than I did.  Some of them have tried the tallow cream with great results, others didn't get results and are resorting to corticosteroids. Some are doing a full GAPS protocol or SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) or Paleo, to heal their immune system.

I am just RELIEVED to have found a solution for myself. 

About Me: Hi! I am Rebecca :) I am the owner of Purify Your Body Detox Foot Pads. I love natural health and wellness, and I love to eat real food. :) 

I love my family, and my pets. I actually love all animals -- they are much nicer than most humans! I don't watch TV and haven't watched a movie in the theater for more than 9 months. I would much rather read a book!

I love to garden and make homemade products -- body butter, toothpaste, perfume, cheese, yogurt, etc. It tastes better when it's made from scratch!  Contact me here: