My boyfriend, who has a long history of food allergies, has recently started to get the worst eczema. It is all over his hands, often cracked and bleeding, and has now spread up his arms, and is behind his knees/on his calves. He also has broken out in acne all over his back, which he used to have as a teenager but had since cleaned up.
He often has an outbreak in the winter, but we recently moved to Quebec where the climate is much drier and colder- it is way, way worse than ever before. I have even developed a bit of eczema on one of my hands for the first time in my life, presumably from the change in climate.
The BF eats a diet high in vegetables, meat, and fats- high metabolism, so he eats spoonfuls of almond butter throughout the whole day to stay full. Typical breakfast is hard boiled eggs and a smoothie, roasted veggies for a snack, coconut-milk and bone broth based soup for lunch, almond butter throughout the day, something meaty for dinner with 2+ sides of veggies, 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate for dessert. Lots of tea (herbal, green, and black) throughout the entire day. We have been putting shea butter, coconut oil, and lavender hydrosol on his skin every morning and night, and he wears cotton gloves to avoid scratching. We have been treating it religiously for 4 weeks and even though no changes in our diet have been made in a few months, it hasn't been getting better- if anything it has spread. He has already had one infection in his hand which we had to put an antibiotic cream on, and it would be surprising if he doesn't get more infections.
He went to the doctor, and was told to use a steroid cream, but he has used it in the past and it thins his skin very quickly, usually causing bleeding after 2-3 days. He is allergic to peanuts and fish, but hasn't had allergy testing done for a few years.
Anyone had an experience with eczema like this? Did they find that changing something in their diet helped? Advice for the accompanying acne, any ideas if there's a connection? Any topical treatments we should try while the winter is being terrorizing? Thanks!
UPDATE The eczema has recently taken a turn for the worse- over the last 4-5 days it has spread to covering most of his legs (esp thighs) and is all over his arms. It has started bleeding through his arms every night, even when we elastic-band cotton gloves onto his hands, so I think he skin must just be really thin and fragile now. He can't close his left hand anymore. It is pretty out of control, so we made a doctors appointment (dermatologist), but couldn't get in until next month. We have decided to take out all of the foods he was allergic too as a kid (eggs, dairy, nuts, shellfish, tomatoes, oranges, wheat (obv), soy) to see if it helps in the meantime. We have been putting anti-biotic cream we got from the pharmacy on the open sores/wounds to prevent inevitable infection. He is fully coated head-to-toe with shea butter every night now. I'm not sure what to do about omega-3's on our new diet though...should I order some fish-free pills? I'm a little hesitant to introduce something new while he is so bad, he has had reactions to supplements in the past that includes rashes, and that would just be the icing on the cake right now. Any ideas of foods that we currently would be eating or could introduce that we should increase or adjust??
UPDATE Turns out, he probably has a form of dermatitis, NOT just regular old eczema, which is why all the treatments have not been very affective. We need to be VERY careful about wheat contamination, and keep him well oiled in the meantime. For anyone else that may be experiencing this "out of control" eczema like this, definitely find a great dermatologist and discuss the possibility of other skin conditions- don't leave ANY details out. Turns out the rash that gave the diagnoses (I'm so glad my BF doesn't read this, I'm sorry honey here it goes) was on and around his anus (which he really didn't want to tell me about, and took him a couple months before he did and I convinced him to just man up and tell his doctor). Thanks for all the wonderful feedback though you guys, you got us both on Vit D supplements again and the BF is taking non-fish-oil Omega 3 supplements and experiencing no allergic reactions which is great! What an awesome group :)