Have you heard of Lichen Sclerosus?
Definition: Lichen sclerosus is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease of unknown cause which can affect any body part of any person. It's not contagious. It's itchy, can be incredibly painful, and often affects the genitals. It produces blisters and peeling.
Add some eczema to that... and some allergies...
You'll end up with Angela's skin conditions, which have plagued her for years.
In the interview below, Kerry and Renee talk to Angela about her skin issues and what's she's been able to do about it. She's still in the process of getting to the root cause and treatment, but in the meantime, we're uncovering some steps that she may want to take along the way.
Here's Angela's story:
"I have suffered with eczema and various nasal allergy irritations my whole life. After the birth of my son I developed lichen sclerosus, which is what ultimately led me to discovering your company and products."
While Angela gets to the root of the lichen sclerosus, eczema and allergies, she's found some relief from MadeOn Skin Care's products:
"Your Bee Silk stick is the only thing I can use that clears up and relieves my lichen sclerosus. I use your foot rub on my cracked heels and toes. I use your soothing rash cream for both my kids who suffer from eczema and dry skin. I use your Bee Silk on just about every part of my body to help with eczema and dry/scaly skin. We use your bug block sticks and lip balms as well. I love your products for the relief they have brought me and my kids."
Watch our interview with Angela (scroll down for an overview):
Now let's dig in and see if we can understand her skin issues better, starting with allergies:
Angela has always had allergies, since the time she was a young child. She had a horrible experience with an allergy test as a child. It was very uncomfortable (the process involves scraping allergens onto your skin) although it did reveal some triggers.
(listen in at minute 1:10)
What type of allergies did you have?
I would break out with the slightest irritations. At around age 14, even the saline solution we used made my hands break out.
My skin would break out all the time, partly because of what I was allergic to but also from having a compromised immune system.
What did your doctor prescribe for lichen sclerosus?
Steroids. But I didn't want to use them, especially for sensitive areas.
So what did you do for the lichen sclerosus flare ups?
I used MadeOn products (Beesilk Stick) and within a couple weeks, the flare up was gone. My husband is allergic to sand fleas. He will break out in a rash. I applied Simply Shea Facial Emollient immediately, along with Benadryl, and it gave him much-needed relief while the swelling went down. It's like a miracle.
What happens with your allergy reactions?
It seems cyclical. Sometimes it gets worse. Flare ups come and go. This past year they've been bad. I finally decided to go to an allergist. I wanted to know if it's just from the dust, pollen and perfumes or are there more allergens. I had dairy allergies growing up. I'm also allergic to blue cheese, which makes me break out in hives.
At this point (minute 10:00), Kerry pipes in to inform us that if you show a positive allergic reaction to dust and mold, you need to eliminate yeast, gluten, fungus and mold from your diet!
Also important to note: once you get diagnosed with one autoimmune disorder, they "stack" and you may easily get more.
What did your allergist for the test?
Skin prick, which was far less painful that when I was tested as a child. It didn't reveal as much as I expected. I found out I'm allergic to maple and cockroaches, of all things! She tested for mold but it didn't show up - at least the particular mold they tested for.
So you'll do round two of allergy screening?
They'll inject a little bit of the allergen and then check for more. It'll be deeper than a skin prick test. The allergist says there's no doubt that I have allergies but it'll be a process to find out what I'm allergic to.
Tell us what you've learned about autoimmune disorders.
I'm still learning. I want to know more about how it may be affecting me. My allergist says she can just look at my hands - even without a flare up - and know that I struggle with eczema. She can tell by the look of my skin.
Kerry: your allergist is super knowledgable about allergies and can test the allergies, but you need to be willing to make diet changes and dig into lifestyle changes to improve your autoimmune condition.
Minute 16: Kerry gets deep into what's happening to your skin when you consume something that you're allergic to.
Common Food Allergies:
Gluten (one of the hardest things to test for! You may not even test positive to a gluten allergy even though your body does not tolerate it)
*Elimination diets are the easiest way to find out if you'd react to a food.
Minute 19: Thyroid issues!
Should she eliminate one food at a time, and how long should she go with eliminating it?
Two to three weeks, then re-introduce it but don't re-introduce anything else for 3-4 days. It can take a few days to show up as a negative reaction.
Minute 22: find out what Angela learned by her past experiences with eliminating certain foods. Learn how she took control of the lichen sclerosus and eczema, and what later made her fall off the wagon.
The allergist recommended she find a specialist in each area - autoimmune disorder, thyroid, etc.
Functional Medicine Coach Kerry offers suggestions to Angela to get back to her healthy state!
Minute 26:40 Angela has more conditions she was diagnosed with over the years. Kerry reveals some of the issues Angela should consider as a pattern is showing.
Test for antibodies for thyroid - get the full thyroid panel! This isn't always done.
Watch the full interview to find out what Angela's next move is.