The Whole View, Episode 488: Treating Eczema Inside-Out and Outside-In

Welcome to episode 488 of The Whole View! This week, Stacy and Dr. Sarah break down the science on treating Eczema from the inside out. Then, they revisit an old show on Eczema in children with updated science and many product recommendations for listeners to try!

If you enjoy the show, please review it on iTunes!

The Whole View, Episode 488: Treating Eczema Inside-Out and Outside-In

Welcome to episode 488 of the Whole View! (1:20)

This week’s listener question:

I had Eczema on body (arms, knees, groin, hands, belly) which started in my mid 30s and became most severe during my fourth pregnancy at age 37. Multiple treatments tried including acupuncture, naturopathic supplements did not achieve much improvement.

In late 2018, I did Whole 30 diet twice and saw marked improvement, and then transitioned to a paleo diet. All eczema cleared by 2020, with very small areas on hand remaining. Fall 2020, eczema on lips started.

I don’t have eczema anywhere else now. I am now wondering if this perioral dermatitis is related to my previous eczema and how to treat it. Now that it is fall, the lips are beginning to worsen. Thank you! – Emily 

Emily, first of all – amazing job working on solving these skin conditions so well so far. That’s HUGE. 

Treating Eczema and skincare are some of Stacy and Dr. Sarah’s most asked topics. And what better way to bring new listeners up to speed than with a re-share of their previous eczema show- with updated science! 

They will also dive deeper into internal and external thoughts on what might help situations like Emily’s.

As a reminder, Stacy and Dr. Sarah are not medical professionals and are not giving medical advice. So, consult your primary care doctor when making health decisions.


Episode 248 Re-share: Treating Eczema

The topic in this episode was Eczema in kids and how to get children to accept healing food choices. For all the notes on this previous episode, click here(4:40)


Science Update on Treating Eczema

Since recording this episode, both Stacy and Dr. Sarah have made many diet and lifestyle changes. (33:50)

The foundational science of Eczema as “leaky skin” is still valid and what the science describes, which is very cool!

What Dr. Sarah wants to add to this conversation is expanding on the gut-skin axis and the role of the gut microbiome.

Dr. Sarah reminds listeners that the gut microbiome contributes to the disruption of skin homeostasis and can lead to conditions like acne, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. That science hasn’t changed!

Mechanisms can’t be fully elucidated, but this article discusses the links between the gut and the skin barrier, including systematic inflammation, metabolic byproducts, increased intestinal permeability, and more.

This study looks at the ability of gut microorganisms to stimulate neural pathways and produce neurotransmitters.

Another study showed certain gut microbes and metabolites seem particularly important for influencing skin homeostasis. 

So, we can add gut microbiome health as an important focus for Eczema. The best resource is Dr. Sarah’s e-books, The Gut Health Guidebook, and The Gut Health Cookbook.


Food and Lifestyle for Gut Health

Plenty of high-variety veggies, fruit, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and legumes (if you tolerate them) are great for gut health and help with treating Eczema. (49:10)

Think of each fruit and veggie family as its food group and aim for diversity in addition to eating them abundantly. The most important are cruciferous veggies, root veggies, and leafy greens. 

For more, see previous episodes:

Other dietary and lifestyle things you can do are:

Increase fish intake and/or take fish oil: Episode 415: Fish oil, Healthy or not?

Ensure you hydrate (no alkaline water)! Episode 406: Got Water?

Check your vitamin D levels and take supplements as needed.

Eat snout to tail and check out Nutrivore!

Make sure EVOO is one of your go-to fats: Episode 414: Best Cooking Fats for Gut Health.

Eat probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir, and try SBO like Just Thrive: Episode 329: The Link Between Carb Intolerance & Gut Health.

Get enough sleep on a consistent schedule.

Manage your stress: Episode 397: Practical Tips for the Sleep Stress Cycle.

Increase your activity but avoid overtraining.

Eat distinct meals with 12-14 hours fast overnight.


Skincare Update for Treating Eczema

It is essential to mention that specific to Emily’s question, reacting around the mouth indicates a reaction to food. (51:20)

We sometimes see it in dry, winter weather (often in children) as dehydration occurs in the skin and causes irritation around the mouth. Think of that red, chapped ring around the mouth. 

Definitely checkout episode 431, where Stacy and Dr. Sarah go into detail on the science of skin and product recommendations.

For a short answer, Stacy’s most effective solutions (also discussed on that show) as both Eczema and dermatitis are dry skin conditions:

  • Probiotic 
  • Gluten and dairy-free, once under control, then things like grass-fed heavy cream and ghee likely OK – nightshades are also often mapped to skin issues; specifically, eliminate those first before going full AIP to see if it helps
  • More water (drink)
  • No hot water
  • Silk or bamboo pillowcase washed weekly in clean detergent
  • Exfoliate and hydrate

Stacy also revisits how lipids help the skin barrier, which Sarah taught us about the Science on Stratum Corneum.

Recommendations for Skincare and Eczema

Cleansing Balm is what helped Finn. Also, Stacy’s family is gluten-free, dairy is still restricted and only high-quality in their household, and they still do not eat nightshades. All that together has helped with Finn’s skin issues.

Dr. Sarah adds eggs to that list as something that comes up in studies as a top allergen for Eczema. Interestingly, she also noticed having personal skin reactions linked to low-quality chocolate.

Stacy also recommends trying Facial Oils (Beautycounter no. 3 for people to try when they have Eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea), Overnight Resurfacing Peel, a 4 step skincare routine, and SPF!

Don’t forget Vitamin C: topical and internal Vitamin C is essential to your skin’s own process of forming collagen. 

The All Bright C Serum is the absolute best Vitamin C on the market- not just in Stacy’s opinion, but it is award-winning. Plus, Dr. Sarah raves about it, too. 

Shop with Stacy at, and anything not on sale, you can use CLEANFORALL20 if shopping for the first time – using a new e-mail address!

For more from Stacy on skincare, see Science of the Skin Barrier and Sensitive Skin.


Source Citations:

Sinha S, Lin G, Ferenczi K. The skin microbiome and the gut-skin axis. Clin Dermatol. 2021 Sep-Oct;39(5):829-839. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2021.08.021. Epub 2021 Sep 3. PMID: 34785010.

Salem I, Ramser A, Isham N, Ghannoum MA. The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Front Microbiol. 2018 Jul 10;9:1459. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01459. PMID: 30042740; PMCID: PMC6048199.

Strandwitz P. Neurotransmitter modulation by the gut microbiota. Brain Res. 2018 Aug 15;1693(Pt B):128-133. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.03.015. PMID: 29903615; PMCID: PMC6005194.

Final Thoughts

The best and most recent show to revisit for more on dry skin and Eczema, see Episode 431: Troubleshooting Dry Winter Skin.

If you enjoyed this show, we invite you to join Stacy and Dr. Sarah over on Patreon for exclusive behind-the-scenes content about Stacy and Sarah’s feelings about the topics they discuss. Your subscription supports this show and gets you direct access to Stacy and Sarah.

We invite you to subscribe to this channel and the and blogs and newsletters.

Thanks so much for listened and we will see you next week!

Want more info on our Real Life? Healthy recipes, parenting tips, and general lifestyle stuff goes out in our Real Everything newsletter, join here.

Never want to miss a post, sale, or deal? Join my Healthy Inside & Out e-mail list for more info on non-toxic living and safer skincare!

You Might Also Like

Stack Savings on Stacy's Favorites: code SHAKLEE10 for 10% Sitewide PLUS another 15% OFF + $10 OFFwith THIS Referral Link