I am writing this story for the Peeling Lips forum and the Oral Allergy Syndrome Forum, and the Eczema Forum, but I will cross post it also into other relevant forums.
I spend at least 30-60 min every day reading about Eczema, Seb-derm, Allergies, Asthma, EC, on different web forums, medical journals, etc. That is at least 360 hours per year, probably 3 times as much.
Each success story I read is just one dot, not always clearly connected to some other stories- some other dots. But sometimes, there are so many dots very close to each other that you can't avoid connecting clusters of dots, and all of the other not as clearly clustered dots, and the picture starts emerging. Clear picture.
The first important group of dots is a fact that
The Exfoliative Cheilitis (EC) (Peeling Lips) and the Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) have exactly the same symptoms in huge number of people diagnosed with one or the another.
The same person may go from one diagnosis to another, while having exactly the same symptoms, peeling and inflamed lips, dry lips, cracked lips.
So, a diagnosis of EC and a diagnosis of OAS are interchangeable.
The second important group of dots is a fact that there are several people on this forum and on similar other forums who cured Exfoliative Cheilitis (peeling lips) 100% by eliminating something they were allergic to (or something they were intolerant of), like Gluten, toxins produced by Candida, cat dander, SLS etc.
You see, all of those people suffered from Peeling Lips, but each one of them may have a different allergy or a different intolerance triggering the same set of symptoms.
Some people have so rigid mind, that they have a very hard time wrapping their mind around this simple fact.
The simple fact is: a different allergies or a different intolerance may actually result in identical symptoms appearing on different people.
Tom may develop EC thanks to gluten intolerance.
Jane may develop EC thanks to cat dander allergy.
Chris may develop EC thanks to SLS or laundry detergent allergy.
Tess may develop EC thanks to intolerance of the high level of candida in her gut.
Ben may develop EC thanks to intolerance of the high level of staph bacteria on his lips.
Anna may develop EC thanks to intolerance to citric acid added to her favorite multivitamin, multivitamin she is using the last 3 years.
Maria may develop EC thanks to intolerance to some bad ingredients in cosmetic products she is using the last 6 years.
Just because one person cured his lips by eliminating cat dander, and just because you do not live with a cat, that does not mean your Peeling Lips are not triggered by some other allergy, to something else like laundry detergent or Sugar or some cosmetics you use everyday.
Another group of dots is a well known link. Many people suffering from Exfoliative Cheilitis, also have history of Eczema or history of Seborrheic Dermatitis or history of Acne.
Another important group of dots are Eczema triggers.
Did you know that up to 20% of kids born today are going to develop some form of Eczema, mostly Atopic Dermatitis (Allergic Dermatitis) during their life, most of them during the first 1-10 years of their life?
And, what is even more interesting is that Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) is almost always (most likely always) a skin reaction triggered by some environmental trigger, like an allergy or intolerance to some food, to laundry detergents, animal dander, dust mites, food additives , water additives, flame retardants, nickel, latex, pollen, staph bacteria, candida, etc.
The last group of dots are people who cured EC by using the Liquid Bandage //www.curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=2253842#i
The Liquid Bandage protects your lips from saliva, but it also protects your lips from the air, including anything airborne like laundry detergent, pet dander, flame retardants leaking from your mattress or your pillow, dust mites living in your bed sheets, etc.
Some of the eczema parents have seen that their kids suffering from Eczema react only on those parts of skin exposed to air.
Later, through testing, they discovered that their kids are allergic to airborne allergens, like pollen, cat dander, dog dander, dust mites, flame retardants, etc.
Now, if you guys and girls try to connect all of the dots, what do you get?
You see some words keep repeating again and again:
Allergies, Intolerance, Sensitivity
The most important are experiences of parents with kids suffering from Eczema, allergies and asthma. Remember, 20% of kids born today gets Eczema. 30% of kids born today may end up with Allergies, Asthma, Eczema, etc.
So, the number of dots here is really huge!
You see, the Eczema parents have discovered that Eczema is always triggered by something in the child's environment or inside child's body.
Most often, diet plays a direct role, BUT NOT ALWAYS.
Sometimes, child reacts to no food, but reacts to pollen, or cat dander, or dog dander or flame retardants inside pillow or retardants inside mattress(more common than you will believe), or dust mites, or laundry detergent(very common) or any other cleaning chemical used inside house, or any pesticide used inside house or sometimes even wall paint, or sunscreen, or cosmetics used by mother, or water quality.
Another important fact:
a child suffering from eczema triggered by some triggers, may not always test positive on the common IgE allergy tests.
Actually, half of all kids who test negative on the classic IgE allergy tests may still be allergic or intolerant to many things they tested negative on the allergy test.
IgE allergy tests can not test for tolerance, those tests only test for true IgE antibody allergies.
The only way to find out if you are really allergic to something or intolerant is a total elimination.
Once you totally eliminate all of your own triggers, symptoms are gone, be it Eczema, EC, Seb-Derm, Skin rash, Asthma, chronic Acne etc.
So, this is all I have to say, actually.
Try total elimination, and you will find what triggers your EC, Eczema, Seb-derm, Asthma.
Examples of total elimination:
- to totally eliminate all laundry detergents from all of your clothes, you will have to stop using laundry detergents for several weeks or months, until all of you clothes, curtains, bed sheets, pillow cases, etc are washed several times. Nobody else using the same washing machine should be using laundry detergents, as it may take several washing to completely wash out all laundry detergents inside a classic washing machine.
Alternatives for laundry detergent are Borax, vinegar, perfume-free soap, etc. Just use Google.
- to totally eliminate all perfumes and all cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoo, perfumes, soaps, just get it all out of your house for at least 3 weeks, and all scents will be gone.
Natural, perfume-free alternatives for skin care are foods like coconut oil, olive oil, butter, pork fat, rabbit fat, nut oils, etc.
- to totally eliminate all pollen from your environment, you will have to move to live for several days on some island surrounded by ocean, like Outer Banks in North Carolina. Pollen concentration in the air on similar places is extremely low, almost non-existent. Or on a boat.
Symptoms related to pollen might disappear already after a few days.
Pollen concentration on any sea coast may be equal zero anytime wind blows from the ocean toward the continent, and those winds may actually sometimes last for days or weeks. That means that even people living on the sea side, can be exposed to lower concentrations of pollen without need of living on an island or on a boat.
Did any of your symptoms improve the last time your were at the seaside? If yes, several factors may have contributed, including clean air.
- if you are a pet owner, to totally eliminate all cat or dog dander from your environment, you will have to move to live in some place (cottage, tent, ocean shore) where dogs and cats have never been, and you should be wearing a new clothes you have never ever used in your old home, cause all of your clothes are loaded with cat or dog dander, saliva, hair etc. Pet dander is airborne, invisible, microscopic, and can be everywhere and on everything that was inside the house including travel bags, laptop, mobile phone, bag with cosmetics, hair, shoes, even inside your car, etc.
- if you are allergic to dust mites, you will have to get rid of all of your carpets, wash all bed sheets, wash and clean your place with vacuum-cleaner that has water filter, and probably get an indoor air filter or simply move to live in a tent on some beach for a few days to see if your symptoms improve.
It is all about complete elimination for a limited time to see if your symptoms improve. If they improve, that is your starting point for a further investigation, further eliminations and further testing.
And so on.
As you usually don't know what you react to, you will have to combine most of those approaches at the same time, until you are free from symptoms, including the total elimination diet.
That is because you may react to 5 or 10 different things at the same time, and to become symptom free, all 5 or all 10 of the triggers must be eliminated at the same time.
I believe the main reason why so few people report success in curing EC is in fact that identifying multiple EC triggers can be complicated for someone who never new anything about allergies, and because you can not relay 100% on any negative allergy test, no matter how good that test is.
negative allergy test = worthless information
A single person may react to several foods and to several environmental triggers, making it impossible to pinpoint all of the triggers just by eliminating one or 2 random potential triggers at a time.
I have read on this forum many reports of people trying and relying on allergy testing, but once they get negative test, they accept it as if it was written in stone. It is not.
A negative allergy test is only a beginning of the real allergy or intolerance testing, it is not the end of it.
Never trust to a negative allergy test! It is a greatest lie resulting in suffering of millions of people around the globe.
Intolerance is also different than allergy.
People intolerant of different foods or different environmental triggers may never test positive on any single allergy test, but they will still react to it with whatever symptom they have, EC, or Eczema, or Seb-Derm or Acne or Dry skin or Dry Eyes, or Asthma, or Hives or whatever else.