Health and Wellness

April 16, 2024

#29: Cracking the Eczema Code: Discover the Root Cause and How to Heal Holistically with Andra McHugh

Ever been told the only solution to eczema is topical creams or steroids? Me too. As someone who has dealt with psoriasis and rosacea her entire life, I know first hand what it's like to be uncomfortable, self conscious, and frustrated with your skin. Thankfully, today's guest, Andra, is here to teach us another way to heal our skin – from the inside out. In today's episode, you'll learn the root cause of eczema, how it manifests both in adolescence and adulthood, and simple solutions to heal eczema through diet and lifestyle.

About this episode

What you'll learn

  • Why eczema is a symptom and not the root diagnosis
  • Risk factors that increase your child's odds of developing eczema
  • Other chronic illnesses that stem from untreated eczema
  • 3 hidden culprits of adolescent eczema
  • Small nutrition swaps that make a big impact in healing eczema
  • Andra's recommendations for effective supplementation

About Andra

Meet Andra McHugh, the matcha-sipping, veggie-loving mom who turned her family's eczema nightmare into a mission for healthier, happier childhoods. Host of a popular podcast and mom to four vibrant kids, Andra knows the agony of sleepless nights spent soothing itchy, bleeding skin. Frustrated by conventional medicine and overwhelmed by conflicting dietary advice, she took matters into her own hands. 

Through meticulous research and real-world experimentation, Andra cracked the code on eczema. She not only healed her own children but also transformed their lives, freeing them from the shackles of painful, peeling skin. Now, she's sharing her groundbreaking approach with the world. 

Andra specializes in natural, actionable solutions that empower parents to reclaim their children's health. Her expertise covers diet and nutrition, simple at-home remedies, and time-saving hacks that make wellness achievable for even the busiest families.


Join the waitlist for my new postpartum recovery cookbook HERE

Get 20% off your first month of Needed HERE using the code “mama20”

Listen to episode 13 all about non toxic products HERE

Connect with Andra HERE and listen to the Eczema Kids Podcast HERE

Shop Andra's Skin Comfort System HERE

Ready to clear your kid's skin? Take the Clear Skin Kids Course HERE


Hey, mama. Welcome back to another episode of the well -nourished mama podcast. I am so excited for today's interview because we are talking about something that I have actually dealt with my entire life and just recently found a solution for her.

Um, we are going to be learning all about eczema and how to naturally and holistically heal eczema from the inside out. Now I will say technically I don't have eczema. I have psoriasis, which is the autoimmune version of eczema.

Um, but they are very, very closely related. They have very, very, very similar root causes and they have very, very similar, um, approaches when it comes to how you heal and how you manage your symptoms and your flare ups.

So I know you're going to love today's episode because not only does something I'm passionate about, but I know it's something that a lot of moms actually struggle with because eczema manifests pretty early on in childhood.

Um, it's most common in kids and some babies can even be born with eczema. I didn't actually know that, but, um, our guest, Andrea taught me that in our episode today. Um, so it's really interesting to get to hear it through the perspective of kids because I only have ever dealt with it as like a teenager and an adult.

Um, so a lot of the things you're going to hear today are geared towards kids, but it can totally be applied to any situation, even if you're my age or older. Um, and I know it's going to be super helpful for you.

So I hope you find a lot of value in today's episode. And as always, if you know someone that can benefit from the message that we share, please send it to them so that they can be uplifted and educated just like you were something else.

I also want to put a plug in for that. I don't talk about a lot is subscribing to the podcast. So basically what happens in the podcasting world is you have the ratings and reviews, and then you also have rankings and the higher your podcast is ranked.

the more it will push your podcast to new listeners without you having to like do any specific marketing efforts. It's kind of like if you were the number one search result on Google for a certain query, you know, you're gonna get more traffic because you are the very first result that people are gonna see when they search for that certain question.

So in order to get a really good ranking on podcast platforms, there's a couple different things that go into that formula. But one of the most important things is downloads. Downloads is when not only you listen to the episode, but you actually tell your phone to like put it on your phone and not just like listen through the app, I guess.

So when you, subscribe or follow the podcast, you can go into your settings and say automatically download new episodes. And that is not only going to be helpful for you because that means all of my episodes will automatically be added to your queue every Tuesday, but it also is super, super helpful for me because it is telling the podcast platforms that you find so much value from my podcast that you want it automatically downloaded to your phone without even having to press a button and the more people that do that, the more the podcast platform will say, oh my gosh, I need to push this out to more people and this is going to be a higher ranked podcast because so many people love it.

So if you have not already subscribed or followed the Well -Nursed Mama podcast, please pause the episode. Yes, pause the episode right now. Go ahead and do that. I think it's subscribe on Apple and follow on Spotify or vice versa.

You can usually like go into the main area like where you can see all of my episodes and click the subscribe button or you can go and find the three dots or like the little hamburger menu and find the button that says subscribe or follow one of those.

I wish it was the same on every platform. I really do. It make it so much easier. But if you have not already done so, please, please, please do that. Again, like I said, this helps the podcast grow.

It helps me get better rankings on my podcast, but it also helps me generate revenue from the podcast by getting amazing sponsors, by having paid ads, and by having some really, really incredible guests on here.

So if you want me to continue to provide this content for free and have really amazing episodes to listen to every week, please just do me that huge favor and hit the subscribe button and then leave a rating and review if you have not already done so.

That would help me out so much. So all of that put together. Let's jump in. do today's episode all about healing eczema holistically. Hey, mama, my name is Brooke, and just like you, I want to show it from my kids in the best way possible.

But you and I both know that that means our cup needs to be filled first. Here on the Well -Nourished Mama podcast, we learn about all the different ways we can nourish our bodies, minds, and souls in every stage of motherhood, including pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

As a mama of two and certified postpartum nutritionist, I'm here to educate, empower, and inspire you as you navigate your unique motherhood journey and raise your family. Tune in each week for episodes about nutrition, exercise, wellness, lactation, marriage, and so much more, and walk away with simple but actionable tips to help you be a well -nourished mama.

Imagine this. You're three months postpartum. Even though your baby doesn't sleep through the night, you wake up each morning energized for the day and the afternoon slump is a thing of the past. You're able to remember important information, answer all your toddler's questions and clearly focus on the task at hand.

Your milk supply is thriving and baby is growing well with little colic or digestive issues. Besides the occasional stressor, you're able to regulate your emotions and manage the demands of mom life.

And most of all, your physical symptoms from pregnancy and childbirth have healed quickly and with minimal pain or complication. Believe it or not, this can be your reality. My first postpartum experience is what society calls normal.

I had night sweats for weeks. My brain fog and fatigue were overwhelming. I developed many food sensitivities and anxiety ruled my life. Flush forward to now just three months postpartum with my second baby.

I'm the total opposite. I'm physically strong, mentally clear, emotionally stable, and I can enjoy foods without restriction. The difference? How I nourish my body during labor and the first six weeks postpartum.

If you want to truly thrive in postpartum and kick those quote normal symptoms to the curb, join the waitlist to pre -order my new postpartum recovery cookbook. Inside, you'll find a six week recovery plan with 48 nourishing recipes and the science behind postpartum recovery so you have all the tools you need to flourish.

Head to today's show notes to get on the VIP list. Meet Andrew McHugh, the macha sipping veggie loving mom who turned her family's eczema nightmare into a mission for healthier, happier childhoods. Host of a popular podcast and mom to four vibrant kids, Andrew knows the agony of sleepless nights spent soothing itchy bleeding skin.

Frustrated by conventional medicine and overwhelmed by conflicting dietary advice, she took matters into her own hands. Through meticulous research and real world experimentation, Andra cracked the code on eczema.

She not only healed her own children, but also transformed their lives, freeing them from the shackles of painful, peeling skin. Now, she's sharing her groundbreaking approach with the world. Andra specializes in natural, actionable solutions that empower parents to reclaim their children's health.

Her expertise covers diet and nutrition, simple at -home remedies, and time -saving hacks that make wellness achievable for even the busiest families. Today, I'm excited to have you here. I'm excited to be here, Brooke.

Thank you. We are talking about something that I... selfishly, I'm really excited about because it's actually something that I have struggled with. And so if no one else benefits from today's conversation, at least I will.

So I'm excited to talk to you. We're going to be talking all about eczema today and natural remedies for that. But before we get into that, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are in your career?

Sure. My name is Andrew McHugh. I'm the founder of the XMA Kids brand and the host of the XMA Kids podcast and our focus there is all about natural healing and comfort for kids with eczema. And our family's journey through eczema turned into a mission for healthier and happier childhoods.

And it began when my I had just three daughters at the time, but two of which ages two and just my newborn baby had severe, severe eczema, like it just came on. All of a sudden, it was so strange, just like literally overnight in my two year old and then my newborn was was born with it.

Like they, you know, in the discharge papers, they said she had a neonatal rash. And just as I brought her home, like, every day just kept getting worse and worse and worse and like more and more flaky and more and more red.

And it just in both cases got very, very extreme. And I took them to the pediatrician as one does, you know, when your children are ill. And they said, oh my goodness, this is really bad. And I was like, yeah, that's why I'm here.

This is really bad. And, you know, they gave me solutions. And I don't even want to say solutions, because they gave me like, band aids in the form of toggle steroids, like they gave me two prescriptions and saying like, you should wear gloves before putting this on your two month old baby, but you must be using this on her.

And then also, they recommended bleach baths. And that was that was the extent and in the same breath, and I am, you know, pediatricians are amazing, doctors are amazing, right? But in the same breath, this doctor said, Well, I have psoriasis, and this is just a chronic condition that you're going to have to manage and it is what it is and I just thought that wasn't gonna be good enough for us and you know I know it's not good enough for my clients either and so I was just determined to find a holistic solution and just mamas are a force when they have a mission and I delved into natural healing methods.

I was in dental at the time I was a dental assistant and so it's quite a it's a deleterious profession unfortunately and you know I was I was working at one of our top hospitals here in Denver. Well I was pregnant with my third which I think had a lot to do with it but it doesn't matter like that all you know was my background and I just decided to jump into natural healing and I cracked the code on this really complex autoimmune condition and so now I feel like it's my mission to help other families do the same.

That's incredible. There is so much to unravel from what you said. So hopefully we can get to all of that because I can just tell that we're gonna get a lot from today's conversation. And something I wanna touch on before we dive into eczema is just the fact that your mom intuition told you that not only was something wrong, but there was a better way to do it.

And I feel like a lot of moms are starting to get to the point where they're like, I'm not always satisfied with the answers that I've gotten from my doctors. And like you said, it's not because doctors are awful.

It's not because we can't trust them. It's just because sometimes there does need to be a different solution and it's not presented to us right away. And I just love that you were able to sit back and say, you know what?

I am just gonna do whatever I can to help my kids. I'm gonna do my own research and see if there's something else than what my doctor recommended because that's not gonna work for my family. That's not something that I want my kids to have to go through.

So I really like your tenacity in doing that. And I think that's something that we just need to have more courage to do. It's tough. I mean, like that was, I'm glad that didn't come around till daughter number three because I probably wouldn't have had the courage, you know, with number one and even number two.

Like I just did whatever the doctors said. Like I've had four cesareans, unfortunately, you know, it just, I just go a lot. Because it is, it's extremely difficult to be staring at somebody in a white coat and say, no, thank you.

Like that's, that it takes a little bit. And especially when you don't have a medical background yourself. But yeah, like I said, mamas, mamas know and you gotta do what's right for your kids. And sometimes that is steroids and that's fine.

But if you're ready to be done with that, you know, you can move on from that too. Exactly. And that's what we're gonna talk about today. So hopefully today's conversation for any of the mamas listening is some encouragement and some courage and just some more resources.

is in your pocket to help you make the best decision for your kids. So just right off the bat I just want to hear a really simple definition of what eczema is because I recognize the name and I'm sure a lot of other mamas do but I think there's some nuances in what eczema is and where it comes from that will just help us better understand how to go about treatment and just better understand our conversation today.

So can you just give us a lowdown about what eczema is? Mm -hmm yeah so if you were to Google eczema you know they would say it's it's categorized as a an inflammatory skin condition and it's called atopic dermatitis and what I know to be true though is that condition isn't it's it's not a skin issue it's way more than skin deep like we're talking about you know leaky gut and we're talking about liver stagnation and lymph stagnation and you know a fat emulsification issue and you're not absorbing your nutrients so there's a lot of things happening underneath the surface but In a nutshell, yes, it's an inflammatory skin condition.

So is it genetic? Is it a secondary reaction to an underlying illness? Where does it come from? You know, I think genetics certainly have something to do with it. Like, I think if that's your weak spot, if that's where your body is leaning towards to break down, then it's more than likely that your kids would be the same.

So there's certainly that. I've seen a lot of parents who have had eczema issues and their kids have the same thing. But that wasn't our case. And I would say most of the people I talk to, they're just like, I don't know where this came from.

And that was our case as well. And a lot of it, a lot of times I see people after like this very intense immune assault, you know, either COVID or hand, foot and mouth disease, something like that. And there's something that put just like, you know, overfilled their bucket, so to say.

And so like then it starts manifesting as eczema, the inflammation that's present within their systems. OK, we talk a lot about kids in these examples. So is it only kids that can develop it or is this something that adults can develop, too?

I mean, any age, I think it's more often that it's it's babies that it's developed in infancy, but it can happen anytime, like as in the case of my two year old or, you know, there's I certainly have a lot of clients that are elementary age, high school.

And if you don't take care of it, this can plague you your entire life. OK, OK, good to know, because you did mention that your second baby was born with it. So it is something that you can literally come out of the womb and like already have symptoms that something is going on and it's manifesting as eczema, right?

Yeah. So I was doing some research before our conversation and I read on Mayo Clinic that quote, people with atopic dermatitis are at risk of developing food allergies, hay fever and asthma. This makes me think that it kind of fits in like the autoimmune family, even though it didn't really say that on Mayo Clinic.

Can you talk to us more about that? Is there a connection? I feel like that's just gonna really help us understand eczema better. Yeah, unfortunately eczema is an autoimmune condition and that's why I take it so, so seriously.

And I knew that when my babies were young and they were exhibiting these symptoms and that's what made me just think, oh my goodness, like we need to control or delete on what we're doing right now and rebuilt because this isn't gonna work.

Like I can't have, this isn't just a rash. This is a signifier that your kids are really unwell, you know, beneath the surface. And I don't want to scare anyone, but it's just true that like autoimmune diseases are when your your immune system is overactive and it's and it's attacking everything that's coming in its path, be it a pathogen or just like a piece of celery, you know, and it's just that's what creates that systemic inflammation and.

It's really they have inhibited detox pathways, unfortunately, like, and so instead of those toxins like the everyday toxins that our bodies need to dispose of instead of them going through the normal channels like sweat and urine and feces like it's coming out through the skin.

And I just I don't like it when doctors suggest like, oh, they'll grow out of it. Like, it's just not a big deal because even they acknowledge like this is part of the topic triad is what they is what they call it.

So a lot of times when kids just grow out of eczema, it morphs into allergies or hay fever or, you know, what have you like, if you don't address it, that inflammation turns into something else. Or some people just are plagued with eczema if they don't address it.

But yeah, it doesn't just disappear and everything's fine if you're continuing to eat those fire Cheetos, you know. Yeah. So, yeah. So like you said, it it might go away like you can't see it anymore, but now it's manifesting as something else that's turned into something else.

So it can get kind of tricky sometimes when you're like, oh, yeah, my kid outgrew it. But what's your kids struggling with right now? Right. Now having asthma. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I want to dive into some hidden culprits, like what is causing eczema?

What is exacerbating it? Can we just like break it down into maybe three or four of the common hidden culprits of eczema? Yeah, I would say for the most part, you know, our kids are just living in in this kind of inflammatory world, like the assaults are ever -present, they're all over the place.

And there's a lot we can do as long as we're mindful of it to turn that around. So, you know, there's just chemicals, there's chemicals in the food, there's chemicals in our cleaning solutions, there's chemicals off -gassing from the furniture we buy and like the drywall that we use in our renovation, all those things, there's processed and indigestible food as like mainstays as part of our kids' diets.

And then I think a lack of nature, like a lack of outdoor time and just, you know, real authentic vitamin D, I think those three things play a really big role in why we're seeing these alarming trends and how often that eczema is coming up in our little ones.

Okay, so to summarize, you said chemicals and food and then lack of outdoor exposure, is that right? That's what I believe. Okay, so let's dive into each one of those a little bit more talking about chemicals Are we talking about like parabens phthalates formaldehyde releasers like all of those?

Things that are supposed to say XYZ free on her on our labels Like is that what we're talking about when we talk about chemicals Yeah, absolutely in the plastics in the like I said all everything that knew that you buy that new car smell That's phthalates like the glade plugins smell equals phthalates if it's not essential oils Okay, so for anyone listening if that still sounds like what I have no idea what that means we're basically talking about endocrine disruptors and Opting to switch to non -toxic products whether it's your cookware your cleaning supplies Tossing out anything that has a lingering smell unless it's like a really clean third -party certified company, right?

And I actually did an entire Episode about non -toxic products and like all of our areas of our life So if you're listening and you're like, I don't even know where to start I don't know what that means.

I will link that episode in the show notes so you can like learn more about that but for today's conversation what we're talking about is endocrine disruptors and I'm sure as you tell your clients andra we can't be a hundred percent Toxic free like it's not possible to just isolate yourself from every endocrine disruptor Because no, it's just the world we live in right?

So I don't think there's a point in like Being afraid in the sense of oh my gosh I can't get rid of all of it So I'm just doomed to develop eczema or my kids are doomed to develop it So what would you tell moms who are sitting there like panicking?

About all these chemicals and these endocrine disruptors that they're supposed to be avoiding, but it's kind of inevitable. What would you say to them? Yeah, it's a fine line. Like I spent you know During this time when I was just coming up.

I was trying to dig ourselves out of this hole and researching All night long because I wasn't sleeping anyway because the kids were up all night, you know with itching and scratching and all the things Like they, it's hard.

Like I definitely put myself into these like anxiety attacks, right? Cause it's like, oh my gosh, like there's so many things. How could I possibly turn it all around? Everything is killing us and what are we going to do?

And it's really just step by step and do like you said, do what you can. You can't do everything. Like there's EMF everywhere, but do what you can in your home. And you are the ambassador of everything that comes into your home.

And you know, especially when you have young kids and nobody else's grocery shopping and nobody else is buying things like that's on you. And once you know better, you do better. So once you know, oh, there's a better choice here.

And it's just cleaners, okay. That's easy to grab something not blue versus blue, you know? So it's just one mindful little swap at a time. Exactly, exactly. So now let's talk about food because this is something we can't avoid either.

We all need food to survive, but there's a very. broad spectrum of what's considered healthy, some sneaky little marketing that makes us think it's healthy. Let's really get into food because I actually had a lot of mamas on Instagram when I asked them about questions for this episode.

A lot of them came back and said, please tell me if food is related. Please tell me what foods are like in my house that I don't know are making this worse. So talk to me about food. Yeah, I would say like the through line for all of the diets, like I have three seasonal diets within my program that's just like a plug and play, easy peasy.

The through line though for all of it is digestible food. And in large, I think we aren't feeding our kids a lot of digestible food. And digestible food is whole real seasonal food that's been cooked most often.

Cause even like raw kale, right? Great, healthy, can't digest that, you know? So it's in the way that you prepare it and it's the lack of processing by a third party. Like that's what makes it digestible.

And I would say that's like the number one thing to be cognizant of. And, you know, we go into food combining, like, you know, you need different digestive enzymes for different types of food. Like red meat versus black beans, right?

Like you just need a completely different side of digestive enzymes. And when you eat those two things in the same meal, they're not compatible. And what ends up happening is one of those things doesn't get fully digested and it just hangs out and builds up toxins and, you know, all the things that we don't want.

So it's, like I said, it's about digestion. Just properly prepare things, soak, sprout if you can. That's like a little bit extra. Eat seasonal eggs and you're getting the appropriate microbes in your gut from the, you know.

From the right season and that's what your body is is tuned in for dialed in for because our environment is Impacting us more than we think you know, even though we're living in houses and we leave like we live quite comfortable lives It's still a very real thing and just keeping in mind our circadian rhythms and all of that Do we you know don't don't buy and I know your audience I know the people that are listening are not buying like the encrustables and the goldfish and like wondering why are we?

dealing with this issue, but Even those granola bars or like you said all those just natural those those marketing terms that don't mean anything That make us think like oh, I'm doing my kid a service and it's like no not really they like their body literally isn't recognizing This is food So omitting that and just focusing on real whole food that your body can digest So what I'm hearing you say yes focus on preparing your food at home and learning how to prepare each food in a way that maximizes nutrient absorption, right?

So if you have kale and people in your family eat kale and you want to use it in a recipe, opt to steam it or boil it in a stew or cook it or whatever versus just chopping up in a raw salad. That doesn't mean kale is bad, if it's raw, it just means it's less bio available for your body to digest, right?

So just focusing on preparing foods at home, understanding how to prepare foods. And then I heard you mentioned like, you know, having red meat and black beans together. I am a nutritionist and I know all those rules pretty good, but you know, the average mama doesn't.

And so for me, what I try and focus on because just getting dinner on the table sometimes feels like a battle for me. What I try and focus on is habit stacking that we can do that will kind of make up for those gaps where maybe the food pairing isn't super great, but we can chew our food completely, right?

Because the more we chew our food, the more it produces stomach acid and the stomach acid is what helps us break it all down. So making sure you're not rushing while you're eating, making sure you're chewing your food properly instead of like chewing it two or three times and then swallowing giant bites.

Something else that I love to do, especially like when we're out to eat at a restaurant is I will have at least one or two glasses of lemon water. Just the acid from lemon is gonna help stimulate more stomach acid production to help with whatever food I'm about to eat.

So you could do lemon, you could do like diluted apple cider vinegar and some water. I don't love that. If that's for you, that's great. That's not my jam. But yeah, just trying to find ways to like fill in those gaps without burdening yourself of, oh my gosh, I don't know all of the.

nutritional science, therefore I'm doomed to fail, right? Yeah, and none of this is about macros or micros, like that's not the thing. And like you said, how you eat is just as important, if not more important than what you eat and sitting down is a big one, right?

Like I say to my kids all the time, like sit down. It's just, you know, and I try and like honestly, I don't eat with my family most of the time because like I can't sit down during the meal, right? And I know how hard it is to digest like if your body is standing up, it's like focusing on something else.

And so anyway, all those are really good tips because our little ones don't have really the HCL required to assimilate those fats and break down those proteins. So any and all of that, it'd be very helpful.

Okay, love that. That was really good, really good conversation about food. Let's talk about the last thing that you mentioned and that is getting time outside. Um, is there like a certain time limit that we need to be outside?

Um, does it differ if it's like a sunny day versus an overcast day, summer versus winter? Like how, how does the outside affect eczema? I believe that our kids are by and large, just under illuminated.

Like you can be under illuminated just as you can be malnourished, just as you can be dehydrated and it's a big thing, you know, and it's, it's easy to do if you go from the house to the garage, to the car, to school, to dance, to the car, to home, you know, like they might get that 20 minute recess, you know, and that might be the extent of their outdoor time or if it's snowing or just a slightly unpleasant, you know, and maybe that's, that's taken out.

And as an adult, it's easy to spend all day indoors. And, um, I just think it should be a focus and, and it's counter, it's counterintuitive for a lot of my clients because you're, their child's skin is in such a raw, delicate place, but I think doing what you can, just being cognizant of, of any outdoor time, putting them outdoors, especially in the morning does a lot of good for your circadian rhythm and it will help them sleep at night and then, you know, the sun is the strongest in the middle of the day.

So that's when the potential for burning and things like that would be most often, and of course you don't want to overdo it and you don't want them to burn, that would be catastrophic, but just, just, you know, normal amounts in the morning without chemical sunscreens, it'll do your kid a lot of good holistically.

I totally agree. And I'm curious if you've noticed this with eczema because I know each skin condition is a little bit different. I have psoriasis and rosacea and all growing up, summer was my favorite because that's when all of my skin stuff went away because I was outside all the time and I always thought it was just like.

vitamin D from the sun and just everything the sun was doing. Is that also true with eczema? Does the vitamin D from the sun actually help with eczema in like controlled doses where you're not going to burn yourself?

Yes. Yes. It's a vital nutrient. You have to have it. Yeah. Okay. Well, that makes me really excited because I was hoping that was the case for my eczema moms because that's what has helped me most of my life.

When it's winter and it's dry outside and the sun isn't as bright, that's when my skin kind of decides I don't like myself right now. And it's always really hard for me. So I think that's another benefit of being outside is not just the fresh air and the circadian rhythm and your hormones, but the actual nutrients that our body produces from the sun that will help our skin.

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Get 20% off your first month of needed using the code MAMA20. That's M -A -M -A -2 -0 at the link in the show notes. Throughout some of the things that are causing an exacerbating eczema, now I want to get into the natural remedies that you teach your clients.

I always encourage a food and lifestyle first approach to healing, and we've kind of already talked about that a little bit, but I'm curious if there are any specific foods or nutrients that will help with eczema.

Definitely, like we mentioned, those are just whole, real seasonal, bio -available foods. And some people go into an eczema healing diet or autoimmune reversing diet. It feels so limiting, and it's like it's not.

There's a huge bounty. I mean, we're talking about all ideally grass -fed or pasture -raised or wild meats and fish and seafood and gluten -free grains like rice. Great, as long as it's properly prepared.

prepared. Beans amazing like in lentils all that as long as it's properly prepared fantastic all the fruits all the vegetables you know there really is quite a lot and you can even make your own you know I make my own treats like my kids require sugar every day and like we make we make our own stuff or we just get like really high quality chocolate now, but yeah, I would say most foods that God made great.

Yeah, that's great and about the anti -inflammatory autoimmune diet. I've had to do that multiple different times in my life just to try and help reset a little bit so my body is just better able to handle whatever I do eat and how I always approached it is saying okay sure I'm not eating these foods right now, but I would rather not eat these foods than have that medicine or then have to deal with this three times as long.

I I've I. What's the word? I perceive it as an investment in my health, right? It's a short -term sacrifice that might be difficult and it might be unpopular with your friends or the other moms in your neighborhood or your mom group and it might be difficult for your kids to be like no sorry I can't have that trait that you brought or I'm not eating that cupcake or whatever it is for your family but it's the idea that you're saying no to things that you know are going to help your body like we wouldn't intentionally wear shoes that are too small for our feet and even though we're not all best at this we try not to wear jeans that are too small for us right that's a different conversation but the idea that like we wouldn't do that to the outside of our body like we wouldn't wear shoes that are too small for us but why is it so much different to just say I'm gonna not eat a couple of these foods because I know that's what's gonna make my body feel best so if any of the mom is listening that are like I don't want to cut this out or I'm scared that my kids gonna hate me or that I'm gonna be the weird crunchy mom or whatever just know that this is what's gonna make you and your kids feel your best and if you don't want to go the medicine steroid topical route that's what's best for your kids and your family yeah 100% I mean you can even play on like my two -year -old at the time I was like hey you can have these carob chips instead of these chocolate chips for her dessert I said cuz the chocolate chips will make your wrist like it was like really really bad like on the other underside of her wrists you know I made like hand washing and all that really painful it's like because it's it's going to irritate your skin this for now so we're gonna just substitute it with this and she's like okay like even as young as two you can play on their desire to to feel better like nobody wants to feel ill and taking care of it I mean being sick yourself or take care of a sick child.

I mean it's a time suck. It's an energy drain. Like it's hard. It may, I mean the things that we're able to do now not inhibited by this, it's just it's so much more joy. It's so much lighter. Just like you said, it's just it's really is worth it.

Yes, some people aren't going to understand. Yes, you're going to catch some black for it, but it is it's so worth it. Absolutely. Going off of food, are there any supplements that you recommend that have been helpful to alleviating or relieving eczema?

Yeah, definitely. I advise my clients do this like glutathione, which is your, I know you know, it's your body's main detox molecule. It's a liver enzyme. And like I said, there's this a lot not happening with their with our little eczema friends like detoxification systems.

And so I find when you help them create glutathione, it really helps get those those systems. moving and grooving and that's like helping you clear the condition much faster. So we do this little cocktail of like NAC, glutamine and acetyl of carnitine and like you can do all those in powder and put it in whatever and it's tasteless and even my two -year -old does this now and I find that to be to be really helpful but yeah we have that's step four in my program is supplements because I believe you should do everything you can in the kitchen first just you know you're feeding them all the time and that's what's fueling the tissues and the cell regeneration and that's why I like working so that's why I like working with kids is because their cells regenerate so quickly and they do bounce back quickly if you if you're on the street and narrow essentially for for a little while and then we simultaneously address the symptoms that are present on the skin you know and we do I sell herbal oils and an anti -itch spray and a really nutritive tallow cream to help address that and because like I said you have to deal with with with what's staring back at you in the face and like the reason that you're not sleeping and your kids not sleeping right now because they're just so itchy and uncomfortable and then we look into everything that you can do inside your house and then I would go into supplements you know because for kids right like it's getting getting those in is it's a little bit of a challenge and it's a little bit of a burden and it's also sometimes a financial stretch so so I say do what you can in those other areas first and then get into supplements and then and then once you're like ready and able to take that into your routine absolutely supplements are there to fill in the gaps right not be like the main point of action for whatever we're trying to do so you mentioned glutathione and like you said that's our body's man master antioxidant so that's what helps our liver do its thing help detox daily help our bowel movements help secrete bile so that we can break down all of our food like glutathione is really really important and I wanted to double check to make sure I was right but for any of the mommas listening there are certain foods that are higher in glutathione that you can just naturally incorporate into your family's meals and just making sure that that's a part of your daily routine so some of the foods on here are the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli cauliflower and brussel sprouts and then you've got your oh shoot I forgot the word the the garlic and onions like the the seasonings that go in all your food oh isn't it like allenoids or something it's something like that but that's not it it's something weird that like only nerdy people like us what's that lady that healed her she had a she had like MS the walls protocol oh I'm not familiar with that Have you heard of that?

Oh gosh, her whole book is about like eating like literally 50 pounds of vegetables a day to to reverse You know, whatever you need to reverse. It's amazing and she did and she's like walking proof and she wasn't walking before she was in a wheelchair Dr.

Walls Pretty sure. She she was incredible. I'll look it up after this and and email you but anyway Yes, but like for when we're talking about our kids It's hard to get a lot of that in. Yeah, so so talking about like Christopher's vegetables My toddler he's two and a half.

He doesn't like brussel sprouts. No shock there but what I do is I find sneaky ways to get vegetables into his meals, so Like when I make spaghetti sauce I will literally choose like five different vegetables and run them through the food process food processor.

I cannot talk today So that they are minced so finely that they just kind of like stick on to the ground meat That's in the spaghetti sauce and then you put the tomato sauce over and you literally can't even tell And so whenever I make spaghetti sauce I'm throwing in mushrooms and carrots and broccoli and like all these vegetables and my toddler will eat the spaghetti sauce But he doesn't know that there's all these vegetables in there So it's finding creative ways to do that.

Some of the other foods high in glutathione are Eggs nuts and legumes so beans lentils things like that. So like you said whole foods Foods that take minimal preparation, but if you do it, right, it's gonna do a lot for your body yeah, so yeah supporting that detoxification pathway in our body is gonna be a big one and I have in my notes here a quote from a meta -analysis That says about vitamin D.

It says that the pathogenesis of eczema involves Disregulation of both the immune system and the skin barrier function and vitamin D is known to have a regulatory influence on both of these In layman's terms, that basically means that your immune system and your skin microbiome is struggling and vitamin D helps with both of those.

So trying to maximize your time in the sun in a safe and controlled way, you know, getting your fatty fish and your dairy products. And then if you still see that there are gaps, whether it's in the diet or you still can't get enough time outside, then maybe consider a high quality vitamin D supplement.

Ideally it would be D3 and K2 together that would help get that vitamin D in your kids system so that it can try and help with your gut and your skin. Yeah, absolutely. I do recommend before, if you can, if your little one is over, you know, 12 months old, I do recommend testing for vitamin D before supplementing it because that's like one that you can OD on you know really easily like they're in those little drops and they're they're quite powerful and so I do I Do recommend that they you know if you heard of there's this Darn, I can't remember it.

There's this brand of Like blood tests that you can it's like the Amazon for blood tests. You can literally just like pop into a safe way they take the blood and process it for whatever, you know, it's a good way to get titers done and things like that if you're in the medical field and You can you can test for vitamin D that way.

It's like really easy just like 30 bucks out of pocket Click and done. I don't know but it's just something to keep in mind. Absolutely. Thank you for Clarifying that you should always test before you start handing out drops and supplements and things like that to your kids Absolutely, how about Pre and postbiotics, how do you feel about those?

Well necessary right like you You need to there's a dysbiosis happening, right? So they're the bad bugs are overrunning the good bugs essentially in their little guts if they're exhibiting eczema symptoms, so Yes, you're gonna have to Weed and seed and feed and the prebiotics is like the seed right like that's what the probiotics feed on and but I don't think that you have to go out of your way to get prebiotics like that's just naturally present in Vegetables and fruits.

So that's essentially what we do. We just highly focus on on those types of foods I also do like to put in like a decoction. It's just a tea made of Slippery elm bark and marshmallow root and licorice root like it's just like the whole orbs and then you pour the hot water over it just as you would tea let it steep for a Second and I put that when I can not all the time like in smoothies because it's just like a tasteless way to incorporate those herbs.

And those are really good prebiotic mixture that really helps heal and seal that gut lining. So yes, attention needs to be paid there. And then I do recommend probiotics, not a ton of fermented foods.

If this is your struggle and you're in the thick of it, fermented foods are really high in histamine, right? And their bodies are already systemically inflamed. And so you wanna do your best to follow a low histamine diet.

And so I do wanna say that there's been some like whole foods that we've mentioned throughout this episode that maybe won't suit your kids struggling with eczema right now. Eggs being one, nuts being one, anything made from vinegar, definitely, because it's yeast -based, you know, those type of foods.

Bone broth even that develops histamine really, really quickly. So with those extra guidelines in mind. Yes, low histamine, so anyway, the probiotics that we would put in, like we just make like a really easy coconut yogurt, we get probiotics that way, and also, if you're in the supplement protocol, rotate some really easy to take probiotics, I find to be most helpful.

Yeah, absolutely. And my favorite pre and postbiotic combo is from Just Ingredients, which is a little powder that you can make into a 12 -ounce drink. You can tell your kids it's yummy special juice, whatever.

And if you want a really clean way to get in those pre and postbiotics, if they're struggling, if they're picky eaters, if you feel like what you're doing isn't working or you're worried about a histamine reaction, that's a really high -quality supplement that I feel comfortable giving my kids because it's made from real food ingredients, it's in safe doses, and it has the pre, post, and probiotics all together, so that's been something really great that I'll occasionally give my son, just if I feel like he's having tummy problems or he's just not feeling super great.

On to alternative therapies and kind of like closing out with the last couple questions. You mentioned at the very beginning that your second child was essentially born with eczema. And so in that instance, that makes me wonder if there's something that we can pay more attention to during pregnancy, if we notice that it's more susceptible in our family.

So if we already have a child that has had eczema, or we have struggled with eczema, or whatever it is, is there something that we can do during pregnancy to help minimize the risk of these skin conditions that our kids could be born with?

Yeah, I mean, and this is a touchy subject because moms... We beat ourselves up, right? Like there's always things that you could do better. There's always things that like you're thankful you did do.

And if I were to do it again, I would have taken a pause from the dental industry, candidly, that's a lot of radiation, that's a lot of chemicals. Like it's too much, I believe, when you have a fetus in your belly to be exposed to.

And I think that's the main reason that she came out the way she did. I would do everything that you can to have a vaginal birth because that's how it was designed. And ideally like they go through the birth canal and because they need to take in all those probiotics from mom as they're coming out the shoot, essentially.

Like that's how it's supposed to happen for my kids. It didn't and that's okay and we're okay. And so wherever you are, it's fine. It's just like if I were to do again, these are the candidly the things that I would do differently.

But be extremely mindful of your chemical exposure. prenatally. When you're pregnant, it's vitally important. I use green hair dye. It's like green H -A -R -E, just stuff like that. It's a big deal. Yeah, it's annoying.

It's like a little powder and it's made with green tea and whatever, but I know once it soaks into my brain and reaches the fetus at the time or when I was nursing, it wasn't like formaldehyde and all those other pretty serious chemicals that are in normal hair dye.

So it's just, I mean, fill up your car as least often as possible. Have your husband do it. You know, don't be downwind of your, of the guests, like all those things. Just keep in mind that you have, you're growing a human inside your body and do what you can.

Yeah. And just to add on to that, because, you know, there's a lot of things that were like, oh, I can't do that. I shouldn't do that. I need to stay away from that. It's kind of overwhelming sometimes.

We know it's a good thing, but it still feels really overwhelming. So something I always try and encourage my mommas to do is in a, in a proactive way, you can just try your best to eat whole foods as much as possible.

I know there's pregnancy cravings and sometimes you're just sick for your entire pregnancy. And so it's just survival mode, not trying to guilt trip anyone there or say that you did poorly, but just doing your best where you can to eat whole foods and make sure that your gut is in as good of a place as it can be.

So that when you're pregnant, you're getting maximum nutrient absorption. And then when you're breastfeeding, your gut directly affects baby's gut because breast milk is made from the bloodstream and your bloodstream collects all the nutrients that you do and don't have in your body from what you digested.

So just trying to take care of yourself as best as possible and recognize that it's not selfish to tell your kids, I will play with you after I eat my food or mommy needs a second. This is important to me.

A good mom. I have to do. this and just showing your family that you can't serve and show up the way that you want to if you aren't prioritizing your health and especially when you're pregnant and breastfeeding that matters more than ever so if that means nope everyone needs to leave for 15 minutes so I can eat my food whatever or excusing yourself from the dinner table so you can go meditate and just like breathe after you ate your food so you can be in a restful state to encourage better digestion or going on a quick 10 -minute walk around the neighborhood after you eat dinner whatever it is just really taking the time to treat yourself the way that you are so desperately trying to show up for your kid I feel like we're so good at being like I need to be perfect for my kids but we forget that like we're a part of that equation and so showing up for yourself the way that you want to show up for your kids I think is going to make a really big difference that would make all the difference so hard to do it if you can please yeah yeah like you said like make it a real priority I would have I would have done that differently if I could absolutely okay last in the therapies are there any alternative therapies I wanted to ask you about like red light therapy are things like that gonna be helpful for eczema yeah I mean that would be fantastic we do not have a red light therapy machine that would be great though like you know and as it could be part of your bedtime bathtime routine like that would be excellent it helps us sell or generation like do it if you have that otherwise though I mean I feel like everything that I suggest is quote unquote an alternative therapy right it's like the diet and the skincare like you know I see people like I just abandoned their values like even if they're eating really clean they don't they don't really look at what's inside their skincare and like no no that their skin is the largest organ in your body and like that's you're absorbing everything that you put on it and that's why these topical remedies can be so effective and obviously that's how steroids work or you know you know like it's supposed to go into your bloodstream but by putting like herbal oils and things that you want to be circulated throughout your body that makes a really big difference so yeah that would be a huge alternative therapy and then yeah anything that you can you can do around your home anything that you can do to just incorporate like some mindfulness breathing if it's just outdoor time fantastic like we have these this little zenimal tool it's so cute it's like this little turtle and it has just like little meditations and it's screen free and EMF free and I have one of those in my kids room little things like that I would consider to be alternative therapies and and helpful perfect and one more thing I wanted to ask you before we get into the readers questions or the listeners questions can you completely cure eczema or does it just go into remission and there's a chance for it to come back?

I mean, I don't know if I use the word cure for anything, if it's not acute, right? Like ideally if you break your arm, then it gets better and hopefully you don't have any side effects from that. But I just think if you have eczema or any autoimmune condition, I believe you can put it into remissions where it doesn't have to determine what you do day to day.

And as long as you live in moderation, then you're all right. It's not like this chronic illness that you have to contend with your whole life. It's just, I guess it's just like light guide rails is where I would want my clients to be.

And that's where we are now, where we can go to the birthday parties and we can go out to eat and it's fine. But if you do that two, three times in a row, yeah, my four -year -old. you know then we'll have a little bit of rougher skin and then we have to to deal with that.

So it's and still nothing compared to where we were before. But the point is I just think yes, remission is where you want to be. Cure is just it's just not a word I use really for anything. Yeah yeah I totally agree.

I've um I really struggled with psoriasis most of my childhood especially like in middle school when I was going through purity and then you know high school was really stressful. And then I moved to New Zealand and it completely went away the entire time I was there because I was outside all the time and just the the food and the culture was so different.

And then I noticed like during pregnancy and then at the beginning of postpartum my psoriasis kind of comes back again because my hormones are kind of all over the place and my body is just burning through nutrients and minerals so quickly.

So I can definitely attest to the fact that you can go in remission. It's not something that you have to live with indefinitely and it should not affect your day -to -day life. But just recognizing what your triggers are and then being prepared ahead of time.

If it's not something you can control like going on vacation you're probably not going to be able to cook all of your meals while you're on out or you know making sure that you take breaks every two hours if you're on a road trip for 30 minutes.

You guys can be out in the sun and just stretching and getting fresh air whatever it is be mindful of what your triggers are and you can go into remission and you can enjoy everything that everyone else is enjoying without worrying about your skin.

So I have two let's see yeah just two questions I want to touch on from our listeners before we close these were really specific. And so, I'm sorry if it puts you on the spot, but I wanted to see if you had any answers for them.

From our listener is, how quickly will eczema go away for a baby who has cow's milk protein allergy? Yeah, that's a really good question. I don't, I don't know if there's like a, you know, there's no textbook amount of time, but I would say that, you know, IgE, which is like an immune response that's triggered by food, that half life is about 23 days.

So if you were, if you were to avoid whatever trigger we were talking about for a month, you could be in a completely different spot than you are now in terms of eczema. Perfect. Okay, good to know. So is it really easy to identify what those triggers are?

Because this mom is a nursing mom, so she recognized a couple months in the breast. eating that there was blood in the stool, something wasn't right. And so she's trying to be mindful of what she's eating, but how can you identify what those triggers are?

Yeah. And especially with little babes, like it's so hard. This is why, I mean, when I was nursing my little one, you know, I obviously just had to follow this eczema healing diet to a T. And I do recommend you, you just, you strictly follow it.

You take out these inflammatory foods and like the top inflammatory foods are like dairy and sugar and gluten and textbook allergens for our little eczema ones would be like nuts and eggs as well. Those, you know, you really do need to take those out the processed foods that artificial dyes for, you know, ideally three months.

And if you can just do it and be really good about it, every single meal, I mean, just like when you're pregnant, like there's never a second in those nine months that you're not pregnant. Or if you're like, I've heard it said, like if you're sitting on two pins and you take out one, like you're still not going to feel that much better, right?

Like you really have to do just all in, but for the short period of time, and if you are, then you can totally eradicate that from your, from your system and from your little one system, if you're nursing and, and then you'll start to bring about healing and then you can start to test foods and bring them all back in.

Cause I'm never, I'm definitely not about, you know, avoid almonds for the rest of your life. Like I don't want anyone to live like that. It's just for this short time being, when you're really focusing on healing, eliminate those trigger foods, those inflammatory foods.

Perfect. Um, and the other reader question I wanted to ask you was, are there any remedies for eczema scars? This particular follower on Instagram is asking on behalf of her daughter. She said her daughter is, I think it was like 30 years old or like her early thirties.

And she has really bad scarring from eczema when she was a kid. Is there anything that we can do for eczema scarring? Man, that's a long time then. Cause I would say, you know, sun and time heals everything.

So it really, I mean, my, my two year old's legs, like that next summer, they had a lot of white patches and then that just magically went away. But I also, so sun, time, just, and also like brightening skincare ingredients, like in moisturizing skincare ingredients, but like aloe, vitamin E, all my stuff has that, it's just important stuff.

Okay, perfect. Before we close, is there anything that you want to say to our listeners? Yeah, I, my message is, is, is one of hope and empowerment. Like, I just want moms to know that you do have not only the power, you have the know -how to turn this around for your kid.

You, no matter what you do professionally, you can and should serve as your child's main health advocate. That is what your job is once you become a mom. And so I really do like what this does on the other side.

If you are facing a condition like eczema or eczema in and of itself, there's certainly worse things. And I just know my family and all of my clients' families, they are better for it, having gone through it.

Every single person in their family is healthier and happier because of taking out the things that are making us tired and sick, really, and noticing the difference. And then embracing this notion of we're a healing family.

I think that's a really important part of it. So it's not like, oh, well, my four -year -old's name is Barbara. Barbara can't have this. It's just like, no, I just don't buy it and serve it for everyone because Barbara can't have it, for example.

But now Barbara can have everything. But embracing that mentality. So no one feels ostracized, but also, yeah. This is your number one job. You can do it. You can do it with a job. I know you have a lot of number one jobs.

You have other kids and you have a house and a spouse and a job. And you can still do it, even with all those things. I love those words of encouragement. Definitely remembering that you will get through it and there's light at the end of the tunnel and it's just a matter of really buckling down and saying, this is what I'm gonna do for my kids or myself, for that matter, if you're struggling with eczema.

This is what I'm gonna do for us to feel better and just be confident in that because then it won't matter what other people think and it won't matter if one kid is upset because all of a sudden we're not eating this anymore or at least for a little bit.

You're just like, no, this is how our family's gonna feel good right now. So I really, really love that. And we talked about a lot of really good things today, but I'm curious what. What is a non -negotiable to you to living a well -nourished life?

I would say meal planning, that sounds so lame, but it's the only way I can do it. If I meal plan, then that means I only have to go to the grocery store once a week, and that saves a ton of time, but I have four kids and we homeschool, and the frequency and that you have to feed them is so often, and even when you send them to school, you have to pack them with like 10 snacks, and if you're feeling anxiety about what you're going to put in their leg so you don't know, like I just would rather live without that stress and or just you know like what am I going to feed for dinner and they're all screaming.

I just I don't like that feeling, so for me a meal plan like eradicates all of that. That is the best answer I've had so far. Some people are like, oh like being grateful, and sunshine and like all these things and you're like no meal plan.

That's awesome. Speaking of which, I need to go finish my meal plan because we are almost out of food. So I'm gonna go do that. That's a great answer. Andrew, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today.

We learned so much from you and I'm so glad that there is a holistic approach to healing our skin from the inside out and that if we don't want to go the topical steroid route that there are other options out there.

So thank you for sharing that with us. Where can we connect with you? How can we continue to learn from you? How can we be a part of your world? Sure. I host the Exima Kids podcast so you can find that on iTunes or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

My website is EximaKids .com and there you can find the Clear Skin Kids course and that's just available to anyone who's just really ready to jump in. I just always feel like if you found me and you need this then I don't want it to be like a cyclical thing where you have to wait six months to jump in.

Just you can get in right now today and then I also have a skin comfort trio at the same site EximaKids .com and that's with herbal oil and an anti -itch spray and a towel cream just to get you get you through the night and help repair that skin barrier.

Perfect. Well, I will be sure to link all of that in the show notes so we can connect with you that way. Thank you so much for joining us today and mamas we will see you in the next episode. I hope you loved today's topic as much as I did.

You can find all of today's show notes and details at thewellnourishedmama .com slash podcast as well as all of my recipes and resources on the blog. If you found this episode helpful, inspirational, or motivational, please leave a five -star rating and review so other mamas can discover the podcast too.

Oh, and don't forget to hit the subscribe button so you don't miss any new episodes. As always, you're amazing mama. Don't forget that. I'll see you in the next episode. Love you.