Hi everyone! Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Candida and eczema, and I guess some of you must be reading my mind, because coincidentally enough, Candida and eczema is an area I’ve been privately researching for quite some time!
– How do I know if it’s eczema or candida?
– What causes a Candida overgrowth?
– Can candida bacteria make your eczema WORSE?
– What can I do if I have candida AND eczema?
If you also have any of the above questions, or are wondering about what to do when you have eczema and/or candida, then look no further, this article covers what you need to know! I’m also giving some practical steps that you can take to get rid of your candida overgrowth!
But first, a little intro.
What exactly is Candida albicans?
Candida albicans are a well-known species of bacterial yeast that are naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract (gut). Some species of candida albicans can also be found in the skin, specifically in the folds of your skin, or in places that are sweaty, warm or wet.
Candida albicans are actually native to your gut microbiome, and EVERY single person has these bacteria IN them. Now don’t fear! For the most part C. Albicans is a harmless yeast that your immune system regulates and keeps under control.
IF Candida albicans overgrow, it becomes known as an infestation, and can cause a visible skin infection, as well as affecting your overall gut’s health and eczema (which we’ll talk about in a bit).
This infestation goes by many names, a few of which you may have heard: candidiasis, yeast infection, or thrush.
Because of its prevalence in the human body, many studies have been done on C. Albicans (candida). Research shows that with a strong immune system, and healthy balanced gut bacteria, C. Albicans species are kept under control.
However (as you might have guessed!), big problems occur when your immune system’s health is poor. When the immune system is weak and under chronic inflammation (due to poor nutrition or medicines), it’s no longer on lifeguard duty!
As a consequence, this allows C. Albicans to populate and grow at a rapid pace.
Oh yes, did I mention that C. Albicans are INCREDIBLY versatile? Scientists are still studying the yeast, and what we do know is they have the unique ability to adapt to different PH levels and different environments, depending on their host. We’ll talk more about that later.
What causes candida overgrowth?
As mentioned above, one MAJOR factor has to do with your gut and immune system. If you have a Candida albicans overgrowth, then by definition, this means that the yeast has got out of hand! Usually due to a bacterial dysymbosis in the gastrointestinal tract and a weak immune system.
Some things that cause candida overgrowth:
Antibiotics are one of the leading causes of gut bacteria imbalances and candidas. While antibiotics are used to wipe out bacteria, candida is a FUNGUS, and its growth is not affected by many antibiotics.
Worse, even just ONE round of antibiotics can wipe out ALL bacteria, both good and bad. This creates a bacterial imbalance, as the good bacteria are the ones responsible for keeping Candida albicans growth at bay.
When you mass kill your “good bacteria” by taking an antibiotic, this can cause Candida albicans to grow at a rapid pace.
This is why “yeast infections” are often side effects of taking antibiotics.
• Chronic inflammation.
As I talk about in my Flawless Training, chronic inflammation hurts your gut and weakens the immune system as a result. This can also lead to break-out of eczema on the skin, as I talk about in the gut-skin connection.
Chronic inflammation (usually caused by poor diet choices or certain medicines that create inflammation) has been linked a wide-range of immune system problems,but since we’re talking about Candida, let’s focus on two major problems.
1) Chronic inflammation weakens your immune system’s overall health.
Remember, your immune system is the NUMBER 1 thing responsible for keeping C. Albicans at bay. If your immune system is weakened due to chronic inflammation, it is no longer able to help you fight the yeast and keep it controlled. Chronic inflammation can lead to yeast infections, candidas, and skin infections.
2) Chronic inflammation kills good gut bacteria.
Whenever your body sends an inflammation response, it affects your gut bacteria. Many bacteria (good and bad), are wiped out in the process of inflammation, as the body tries to rid you of whatever is hurting it.
While the gut can take SOME inflammation, too much too often, can start to cause bacterial imbalances as too many good bacteria are killed off.
With good bacteria gone, yeast and molds like C. Albicans have free range! They overgrow, populate, and spread.
They are also other causes of inflammation that can cause Candida overgrowth such as antibiotics in our meat supply, overconsumption of processed foods, alcohol, coffee, birth control, and chronic stress. (If you’re following my full program, I explain more about these there)
• Sugar excess.
Yeast LOVE sugar! In fact, recent studies show that when you crave an unhealthy amount of sugar, it can mean that your gut is overpopulated with sugar-loving yeasts or bacteria wanting sugar!
While I’m not so sure about all of that — it does hold some truth. Your gut bacteria interact with your brain, and can greatly influence our cravings depending on the need.
Candida albicans use sugar (in the form of glucose/fructose) to grow, and they overpopulate on the stuff!
If you’re consuming an excess of sugary foods (more than 25-30g a day), then chances are HIGH that you’re feeding your Candida albicans on a regular basis. Watch out!
• Prolonged low-carb diets.
Speaking of sugar, I get asked a lot about carb-restriction when it comes to eczema.
Truth is, while going low carb has been recognized to help you lose unwanted pounds, when we’re looking at the SKIN, carbohydrates seem to be necessary.
ESPECIALLY if you’re struggling with a Candida infestation.
Research shows that after several days of a low-carbohydrate or 0-carbohydrate diet, the body naturally goes into a state of ketosis, producing ketone beta-hydroxbutyrate or ketone aceoacetate. Or ketones for short.
The problem — when it comes to Candida albicans — is that ketone beta-hydroxbutyrate can actually FUEL candida growth, and ketone aceoacetate has been shown to be used by candida to evade the body and immune system.
What this means is that even if you’ve been on a low carb diet (ketosis) for a while, you can still be at risk for yeast overgrowth! Or (worse!) a low carb diet can actually INCREASE your risk of candidiasis.
The following papers explain how ketone beta-hydroxbutyrate will feed Candida and how the ketone aceoaceate is used by candida to evade the body’s immune system.
Of course, this may not apply to everyone – but it definitely explains why some people on a low-carb diet or even doing the candida diet (where you cut out ALL kinds of carbs), can STILL have problems with candida overgrowth.
Can candida overgrowth worsen eczema?
As many of you know, my approach to clearing eczema has always been through gut health. After trying many things to get rid of my eczema (natural and non-natural!), I found myself in an amazing discovery that “all disease begins in the gut”. I’ve been sharing that method since!
Amazingly, it also turns out that Candida overgrowth is also greatly related to our overall gut’s health. As such, it also affects our eczema.
Here are some staggering numbers:
• 70 percent of patients with atopic eczema were shown to have Candida albicans overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract (gut).
• 69 percent of infants with seborrhoeic eczema (scalp eczema) are infected with Candida albicans overgrowth at one or more external areas of the skin.
• According to research published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy, eczema sufferers with atopic eczema AND candidiasis are exposed to continuous IgE antibiodes, which worsens their eczema symptoms.
• In a clinical study, 159 young adults with atopic dermatitis were skin-pricked and tested to study the relationship between candida and eczema. It was shown that Candida albicans can lead to an excerbation of atopic eczema, especially in those with gastrointestinal overgrowth.
Researchers also found that C. Albicans and atopic eczema severity were majorly present in those with gastrointestinal overgrowth (imbalanced gut bacteria). Adults without Candida albicans overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract (balanced gut bacteria) seldom had severe eczema. (Source)
As someone who spends a lot of time researching gut health and eczema, I know from experience that when one has a bacterial overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract, eczema symptoms are more likely to worsen!
If you have Candida infestation it’s important to take care of it immediately!
This overgrowth can worsen your eczema symptoms, and in some people, it can also prevent open eczema wounds from healing or lead to skin infections.
Checking for Candida
Below are some signs of Candida overgrowth, do any apply to you?
– itchy, red skin with tiny yellow pustules
– white patches on the skin that only show improvement with anti-fungal creams or ointments
– patches on the skin that show improvement after taking anti-fungal medicines
– white patches inside the mouth, oral thrush
– burning/itching in the genital region
– burning/stinging while urinating
– any of the above signs after taking courses of antibiotics
– any of the above signs after taking birth control pills
– any of the above signs + uncontrollable cravings for sugar, soft drinks, fruit juices, bread, or alcohol
If you have any of the above signs, then you could have a fungal overgrowth and it’s important you get it checked right away. Talk to your doctor about taking a Candida test to be certain. There are stool, blood and saliva lab tests available.
Saliva test at home?
If you’re looking for a DIY approach, you can also take this test at home to look for signs of fungal overgrowth.
What you’ll need:
A glass half full of water
A dime sized amount of saliva
What you’ll need to do:
Each morning, for 7 days straight do this test. It must be done before eating or drinking anything. Keep to your normal diet while testing.
1) Upon awakening, spit a dime-sized amount of salvia into the glass filled with water.
2) After 45-minutes, analyze your data. Either your saliva will stay floating on top, sink to the bottom, or grow legs. Write down each day what it does.
3) On day 7, check your results. If your saliva has stayed floating on top, you’re most likely fine. However, if it’s grown legs or especially if it sinks, then Candida overgrowth is likely an issue.
Test courtesy of Christa, clinical nutritiontist.
Note: the above test can only show if you have symptoms of fungal overgrowth, and is not 100% accurate for testing Candida. For best results, consult your doctor.
What do I do if I have Candida overgrowth and eczema?
Candida is an extremely complicated yeast, and can worsen your eczema symptoms, making you more itchy, and creating skin infections!
But remember, Candida is still a local native to your gut micro-biome. Every single person has C. albicans, and it’s not the same as having an infection with a parasite or something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
The reason I mention this is because it suggests taking a different approach.
The idea behind native fungal overgrowth (an overgrowth of bacteria already in your gut) is not to completely wipe out these species (because that might lead to other bacterial imbalances in the future), but rather to put them back into balance.
With that being said, here are some things you can do to balance Candida albicans overgrowth:
Starve the yeast
The first way to fight Candida is to starve the yeast. Essentially you cut-off any foods that may feed its growth!
You can do this by avoiding foods high in sugar, processed foods, and yeast-feeding foods. If you want to start with JUST ONE! I recommend reducing your sugar and processed foods intake.
Many people find that their Candida AND eczema symptoms improve dramatically just by doing this.
If you’ve already stopped sugar, and want to go further, look into getting rid of yeast-feeding foods such as grains, bread (containing gluten and yeast), rye, and alcohol that contains yeast (beer, lagers, ale, etc.).
Take a natural anti-microbial
For some people, simply starving the yeast isn’t enough! If you’ve tried starving the yeast and still have Candida — then you know what I’m talking about!
Along with changing your diet, consider taking an anti-microbial to help with the fungal overgrowth such as….
Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal, mostly due to its special fatty acids that are fungcidal.
In a study done on coconut oil and candida, coconut oil was found to be effective against more than 50 species of C. Albicans!
Another reason why I love coconut oil and eat it every day!
If candida overgrowth is a big problem for you, consider taking a more powerful anti-microbal such as undecylenic acid. You can find it in most supplement stores, and it’s often recommended by many doctors and actually used in the treatment of Candida overgrowth.
Click here to see one I recommend. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before taking it.
The benefits of Undecylenic acid is that it can help to restore and balance the gut flora, making it a very powerful anti-microbial to help you fight candida overgrowth!
Re-populate bacteria and rebuild your gut!
Once you’re already starving the yeast, the next step is to raise other levels of good bacteria.
C. Albicans get out of hand when you are lacking enough good bacteria — this is why simply eliminating foods is not enough for a lot of people with eczema and candida – you also need to build a strong diet!
Some things that help to re-populate and grow your good gut bacteria are foods containing PREbiotics like garlic, sweet potatoes, bananas, yams, etc, and also resistant starches. (More on that here)
I know I know — some might be afraid of eating carbohydrates with Candida overgrowth — but remember that you don’t necessarily want to put your body into ketosis (a state where you are extremely low carb), as research shows that ketones can actually grow Candida albicans.
A better strategy might be to have some prebiotic foods and starches every now and then to help to keep you out of ketosis, as well as grow and stimulate good bacteria!
Take care of your gut’s health for candida and eczema
Lastly, as you might already know — you need to take care of your gut’s overall health!
If you have a leaky gut, or a bacterial imbalance, candida albicans are highly likely to get out of control and wreak havoc on your skin. If you’re following my program, this is a great place to start!
Well I really hope this article helped you know what to do if you have candida and eczema. Candida overgrowth does make eczema worse, and it can also lead to skin infections that take longer for your body to heal.
If you have it, you need to take care of it, or else it can worsen your eczema symptoms. Follow the steps in this article to help you gain back control!
Are you struggling with eczema-Candida overgrowth? Did this article help you know what to do? Let me know what you think in the comments below! I always love hearing from you 😀
PS: Don't know where to start? Sign up to my free series The Clear Skin Plan !