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Eczema Bulletin, Issue #027 - What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
October 04, 2015

Eczema Bulletin, Issue #027 - What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Welcome to October's edition of the Eczema Bulletin e-zine, and thank you for subscribing.

This is the 27th edition of Eczema Bulletin. It will bring you articles and news about eczema, and also any updates to If you would like to add any suggestions for articles or news, or even add your own then I would love to hear from you

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This month's Eczema Bulletin includes

  • October's Featured Article – What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
  • My favourite eczema news article
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....manage scalp eczema

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

I've read several times that leaky gut syndrome is one of the causes of eczema. I've also read just as many times that there is no evidence to prove that it has any affect on eczema.

The opinions seem to fall into two camps. Complementary practitioners seem to agree that it is an issue. Many conventional doctors disagree with this view.

So what is leaky gut syndrome and why is there mixed views on how it affects eczema?

The lining of the gut is a defence barrier, made up of lots of very small holes. These holes only allow certain substances to get through into the gut, like nutrients.

When the lining is damaged the holes become bigger. Damage can be caused by a high sugar diet, stress, alcohol and certain medications. These bigger holes allow different substances in, that normally couldn't get through.

As things get in, other substances can get out. Including bacteria, food particles and waste products. These leak into in the bloodstream. They are then carried in the blood around the body. Your immune system then kicks in, and the symptoms of an allergic reaction, like inflammation and itchiness, occur. These symptoms may appear as eczema.

Some complimentary practitioners think that leaky gut syndrome could be the cause of several medical conditions. Some have the differing view and think that some conditions and illnesses cause leaky gut syndrome.

The idea that it could be one of the causes of eczema is definitely interesting. It's something that I'm going to look into more, especially any research and studies done.

I'm interested to see if it is thought to be a cause of eczema in young children. I wouldn't of thought that a baby's gut lining would have had the time to become damaged. Unless it was defective at birth. So many questions!

If you have any thoughts on this please let me know, as I'd be interested to hear what you think. Also get in touch if you've had a conversation with any medical practitioner, whether conventional or complimentary. I'd love to hear how it went.

Eczema News Article

A review published in the British Journal of Dermatology on 19 September 2015 reports that habit reversal could be beneficial for reducing scratching for atopic dermatitis sufferers.

It talks about different ways to eliminate habitual scratching. One way is habit reversal, which includes cognitive behavioural therapy. This will help raise awareness of automatic behaviours and teach sufferers a way to deal with it.

A reduction in how often patients were scratching was noticed after 2 habit reversal sessions. An even bigger reduction was noticed after 4 weeks.

The reporters say that more research is needed to find out how effective habit reversal is in patients who have had atopic eczema over a long time.

Tip Of The Month - When Do You Scratch?

I definitely like to work on the cause rather than have to deal with the result afterwards. When you have eczema this can be really important.

You'll have times and situations which irritate your skin and make you feel like the only answer is to have a good scratch!

If you know what things and times make your skin itchy, you can plan ahead.

If you know that when you cook your skin gets hot or certain foods irritate your skin, you can open the kitchen window before the room gets hot. Or wear a pair of latex free gloves when handling food. Whatever works for you.

It may sound like a simple tip but I still forget to plan ahead. At night I get really hot. Sometimes I forget to open the window before I go to bed. I wake up in the night, baking hot and I've scratched my hand in my sleep! I have to get up to open the window and apply some emollient. And then I need to cool down, otherwise I cant get back to sleep. If I had just remembered to open the window I would have had a much better night's sleep.

So be mindful of when and where your eczema becomes more irritated and itchy, and deal with the cause of it, before you have to deal with the effect of it.

Do you have a tip you would like to share? Let me know :)

5 Ways To.......manage scalp eczema

1. Coal tar shampoo. As well as being effective at reducing itchiness, coal tar shampoo helps to limit dry skin. You use it as you would normal shampoo, gently rubbing in to your scalp and hair. You would use this twice a week, but if your eczema becomes infected or broken then check with your doctor before using it

2. Coconut oil. As a natural anti-inflammatory and moisturiser, coconut oil makes it a great choice for helping to managing eczema. One way to use it is to massage it into the scalp, and if possible, leave it in overnight. You can cover your head with a shower cap or pillow case so it doesn't make a mess. In the morning wash your hair as normal

3. Use products free of chemicals and perfumes. Avoiding shampoos, conditioners and hairspray that contain a lot of different chemicals, including sodium lauryl sulfate, can benefit your scalp. Going for a natural product may be the best option, but be aware that if it says on the label that it is hypo-allergenic. It doesn't always mean that it wont affect your eczema

4. Ketoconazole preparations. You can get ketoconazole products either over the counter at chemists, or on prescription from your doctor. The over the counter products tend to be weaker in strength but may still be beneficial for your scalp eczema. They help because they slow the growth of the yeast Pityrosporum, which is a cause of seborrhoeic dermatitis. It also helps to reduce dry, flaky skin and itchiness. You can use it twice a week for up to 8 weeks, when an improvement should be noticeable

5. Olive oil. This is a good treatment for adult scalp eczema and cradle cap which affects babies and infants. Applying warm olive oil to the scalp overnight will help to loosen patches of skin and reduce inflammation and dryness. It is a natural moisturiser and has antibacterial properties. Mixing 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil makes a very beneficial mixture for the scalp

You can read more about scalp eczema, also known as seborrhoeic dermatitis and cradle cap.

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The November edition of Eczema Bulletin will include

  • November's Featured Article – Bizarre Eczema Treatments (allegedly!)
  • My favourite news item of the month
  • Tip of the Month
  • 5 Ways To.....use eczema as a positive

Hope you enjoyed October's Eczema Bulletin, and thanks for reading


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