015: How I Beat Eczema With the Right Probiotics, but Why Soap May Be Your Worst Enemy
Mastering Nutrition Episode 15
This past Wednesday, we all showed up live on Facebook so you could ask me anything about fat-soluble vitamins. Here’s the video, and the audio recording as a podcast.
If you love these Facebook Live episodes, make sure to show up at the next one: Saturday, July 9, 2:00 PM Eastern time the theme will be “Ask Chris Masterjohn, PhD, Anything About Health, Fitness, or Nutrition,” which will be a free-for-all in the style of the first Facebook Live event. Just show up to my Facebook page at the right time and you’ll see the video. If you get there just before I start, refresh the screen until the video shows up. When you show up live, you get to contribute to the questions that literally become the show, which is exactly what makes these episodes so great.
In this episode, I tell the story of my own battle with eczema. I begin by describing my extraordinary recovery from extreme eczema using the right probiotic. I then describe how a more recent relapse led me to discover the incredible importance of mitigating soap exposure when gut-related approaches don’t seem to work.
In this episode, you will find the following:
03:04 Chris Kresser’s interview with Glenn Taylor on fecal microbiota transplants inspired this episode
05:13 My own story with eczema
07:07 Recovery with Primal Defense (now Primal Defense Ultra)
08:54 Mild reoccurrence tied to poor gut, poor sleep, high work stress
09:50 Key feature of an effective probiotic for me is S. boullardii plus bacteria
12:55 Prostaglandin E2, derived from arachidonic acid, plays a central role in preventing eczema by water-proofing the skin.
15:30 Humidity can “hide” eczema by preventing water loss through a dysfunctional skin barrier.
18:12 Minimizing exposure to soap with kitchen gloves and by avoiding unnecessary hand washing are central to preventing topical aggravation of eczema.
23:30 Topical application of a fat — such as shea butter — after soap exposure can mitigate the damage caused by the soap.
27:34 It’s important to pay attention to both the internal, systemic causes of eczema and the external, topical factors that will aggravate eczema once it has started.
Links Related to Episode 20 (now Episode 15)
Chris Kresser’s interview with Glenn Taylor
My article Precious Yet Perilous tells the story of the discovery of essential fatty acid deficiency and the eczema it produced.
Some probiotics that have worked for me: Primal Defense Ultra (the one that initially resolved my extreme case of eczema), Ultimate Flora Advanced Immunity, Florastor; Prescript Assist seems to enhance the effect of something containing S. boulardii but doesn’t help me much on its own.
I currently use this shea butter from Thrive Market, but I think any kind of fat would work well.
I currently use If You Care kitchen gloves from Thrive Market, which sells them for a little more than 20% off the price they sell for at Whole Foods. Bafflingly, Amazon is selling them for twice as much as what Thrive sells them for.
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