This is my life …


Today starts the process of trying to get rid of 40 years of chronic Eczema. Atopic Eczema, Pompholyx Eczema and Discoid Eczema have all afflicted me at some stage of my life with Discoid being the current thorn in my side. After visiting countless Dermatologists in South Africa, the UK, Australia and now New Zealand, I have tried every form of treatment known to them and mankind:

  • Hydrocortisone creams
  • Coal Tar
  • Hydrocortisone injections
  • UVB light treatment (a great tan is an awesome side effect)
  • Prednisone
  • Cyclosporine and Neoral (immunosuppressant drugs)
  • Wet wraps (hydrocortisone creams overlayed with wet cotton wraps)

A pretty comprehensive list of drugs, creams and potions all which have helped relieve and treat the symptoms. However, none have been long lasting and some nearly put me in a coffin; Neoral being the worst taking my blood pressure to 200/100! I have endured 2 bouts of septicaemia as a result of infected eczema, the first in 2002 saw me rushed to hospital, plugged into multiple drips for a week and not being able to walk for 3 days. All this 2 months prior to getting married!

I thought life was destined to be thus for all my days until a family member, who suffered with full body Psoriasis , visited a skin clinic with a difference. They delve into the root cause believing chronic skin conditions need to be resolved from the inside. As such, 80% of their prescription focuses on inside the body and the other 20% on the outside with unique organic ointments. Their belief is that identifying and removing the ‘triggers’ is essential: There are likely to be many foods and / or environmental conditions contributing to the problem.

The family member, who had suffered for almost as many years as me, is now 95% cleared of any Psoriasis and as we all know a referral is far better than any marketing campaign the best agencies can come up with. So my time has come to give this programme a fair crack! What have I got to lose, nothing else has cured the deep itch that only boiling hot showers can provide temporary relief to or the sleepless nights. A massive change in diet, with 60 % of dietary intake being raw foods and 3 to 4 litres of water and vege / fruit juices a day going into my gut.

The big triggers for me have been identified as Nightshades (Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Chilli, Peppers / Capsicum), Dairy (in any shape or form) and Gluten (Beer is a massive trigger – yay!) Also no garlic, onion, vinegar, citrus fruits, soft drinks, shell fish …. There is a very long list which I will post up here in an update.

Some may question me writing this post, a fairly personal one it must be said. I strongly believe in helping other sufferers who are the only ones who can really understand, empathise and know what it is like to suffer this horrendous skin condition. So, I will make regular posts on my progress in the hope this might be “the miracle cure” or at least something that aids us in understanding our triggers.

I have spared you personal photos or Google images I found when looking up the varying types of eczema; but if you have an iron-cast stomach and want to gain a true understanding of what sufferers deal with each day then take a peep, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.



  1. Totally there for you my colleague, my friend and my work Husband. So looking forward to supporting you on the journey and seeing the “new you” evolve and no doubt the fashion statements that will result from the new look Mark Sumner #goodbyecuddles #hellohappyyou x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So proud of you my darling, I know it won’t be easy but hopefully it will be well worth it. One day at a time, I will support you as best I can. Together we can do anything!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea you had suffered so badly. Congratulations on tackling it head-on and on your blog- I am totally with you that if we don’t share experiences, many amazing discoveries will be missed. Good luck with the diet – I’m sure it won’t be easy but I hope it’s well with it. Big hugs from this side of the planet xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark – good on you for giving it a commited go. I wish you every success. I look forward to shouting you a beverage of your choice in celebration!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holy hell, Mark, I had no idea. Sounds like a major lifestyle change, but I absolutely believe that diet is the key to rectifying these types of afflictions. I used to suffer from eczema and adult acne (to a much lesser degree than you, though) and finally managed to knock it on the head with diet and a couple of non-prescription products. Took me about a year of trial and error, but I got there (turns out legumes, dairy and wheat were my triggers). Look forward to hearing how you get on. GOOD LUCK!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steven! It certainly is not easy but I’m hoping to find out what my triggers are, as you have done, and desperately hoping coffee can be re-introduced at some stage. Wheat / Yeast are 2 triggers I know of so bread and beer are gone. Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!


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