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Opening Up to a More Health-Conscious Mind
Tackling Skin Problems � My Own Experience
What I talk about here is not about pets. It is about my own experience and a brief description of the health regimen I took to tackle my skin issues. Of course, sharing the same living environments with my pets, I have considered it quite a natural thing to include them in the healthy lifestyle I have been trying to achieve and maintain.

I had been aware for a while that my skin itched occasionally, especially my torso area. I didn't give it much thought, until one night in spring when the condition flared up. It started to itch all over my body. My skin became redder as I scratched. I had no idea why it was suddenly happening. The itchiness became so intense day after day that it kept me up at night; it started to affect the quality of my daily life.

Everything that touched my skin caused even more intense itchiness. I had no choice but to wear loose clothes. Nothing -- not even "quick fix" ideas -- helped to ease my itchy skin. I was miserable and I desperately wanted to know what was causing this problem.

It was not too long before I found out that I was suffering from eczema. I started to notice that every time I ate cooked meals in which various types of condiments are used -- particularly fast foods, restaurant foods, heavily processed pre-packaged foods -- my eczema came back with a vengeance. As long as I ate simple foods at home, my skin remained relatively calm.

This is how I learned that skin problems are more than just skin problems. It's the body's way of saying that there is something going wrong inside. On the internet, much information can be found about the possible causes of skin problems like eczema (and what you can do about them). As far as my experience goes, it has been hard for me to pin down just one cause. Naturally, it's also hard for me to find just one solution to the issue. Sometimes, one approach may work okay for a while. But applying a variety of solutions as a whole, under the assumption that things manifest as a result of numerous factors being intertwined over the course of time, seems to be more reliable. I knew I had to go deeper than just masking the symptom of skin itchiness. And I was absolutely sure the last thing I wanted to do was use steroids.

While I was looking for ways to help cope with my eczema naturally on a daily basis, I started to focus on improving both my diet and digestive system. I started to eat out less often, and when I do eat out, I chose foods more carefully. I used products that help cleanse my digestive tract, which also helped. I chose to drink more pure water. I upgraded the quality of supplements I used -- such as multi-vitamins, probiotics, fish oil, and so on. I bought various books to educate myself more about natural diets and lifestyle. In one of the books I was reading, the author discussed MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) and its health benefits. I learned that among many health benefits of MSM, the topical use of MSM cream or lotion on the skin seemed to help soothe various skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

I immediately purchased an MSM cream and tried it. Soon, I noticed that my skin itchiness was fading away. For the first time in more than a year, I was relieved and knew I could finally sleep soundly at night.

My pursuit didn't end here. Environmentally, I knew I had to do something as well. Creating safer and chemical-less living environments have become my additional focus that came along with pursuing natural diet. I switched the laundry and kitchen detergents, hair-care products, soap and shampoos, and so on, to more natural types. I have installed a shower filter to reduce chlorine in tap water. I avoid using fabric softener or air freshener (including in the car), and choose clothes and blankets made with more natural fabric, instead of fabric made entirely with synthetic material. I was amazed when I found out that a fleece winter hat (made with 100% polyester) caused intense skin itchiness on my head -- for a long time, I didn't have a clue why my head had been so itchy.

Both eating a more natural, healthy diet while taking good care of the digestive system and choosing to use less chemical in the living environments are now primary focus areas in my life. I believe that the increased awareness of health from a more holistic perspective has been helpful. My skin is in much better condition. I now know that I must continue educating myself, searching for better, safer, and healthier solutions to various issues I encounter in my life -- and I'm happy to include animals and pets as part of this pursuit.

Special Note: Although every effort has been made to present healthy products and useful information to support your pets' health, the products and information contained within this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this site are not meant as a substitute for consultation with a trained veterinarian. If you are concerned about the health of your pets, you should ask your veterinarian for proper guidance suited to the specific condition of your pets. The owners of this website accept no liability for any consequences resulting from the use of products and/or information provided through this site. Please use your discretion when attending to your pets' health.
Special thanks to Fintan Darragh, Rich Bensen, Maggie, Jiji, and Mary Crissman for providing our pet pictures!
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