GA very recently started - any thoughts or advice using natural remedies?

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Hi everyone - I had GA diagnosed by my GP a few months ago.  It started earlier this year for first time as little white spots on one elbow which then joined up and turned into a red ring, non-itchy but slightly inflamed. I worked out that when I was at rest and blood pressure low there was no inflammation, increased with bp as became active. Had bp tested and well within normal range.  GP prescribed steroidal cream which had no effect at all so discontinued after 3 months. Since then I went to see homeopath who prescribed Thuja and a topical cream. However, 1 week after taking remedies I noticed patches which looked like watermarks had appeared underarm, groin area, inner thighs and some patches all on arms, all very recent.  None of them were the original type, very similar to watermarks but similar pattern of pale centre, red round the edges.  I'm assuming that's patch-type GA.  I have no wish to take any chemicals having been antiobiotic free for last 25 years at least.  Anyone any thoughts what to do?  I am convinced that it's an inside-out approach that needs to happen rather than topical outside-in creams and I don't believe anti-bios are the answer.  I am very relaxed, eat healthily, exercise, no junk food, no chemicals in the house, and surprised that this has cropped up now, but it is embarrassing and if I wear short sleeves cover the GA on my elbow with a plaster.  I'm 64 so age seems to be a common factor. Would appreciate any ideas.

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  • Posted

    Hi SallyN

    Welcome to the club! I am convinced its an inside out problem too. The creams are just to try and heal the unsightly appearance but I feel continuous use of steroids is more harmful, so I don't use them either. I've tried food elimination to no avail.....it made no difference. Tried Tea Tree oil and eucalyptus oil and these made no difference either. I'm at my wits end as they are now appearing on my face! My next approach will be a Chinese herbalist.

    Cheers

    Lee

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Lee, I'm amazed at how common this is, several friends I've mentioned it too say they know people who've got it, majority are women 50s plus.  What's going on?  I'd never heard of it until earlier this year!

      I read somewhere about connections with Lupus and Diabetes.  Interestingly I know someone who cured herself of Lupus (supposedly an incurable auto-immune disease) with high regular doses of Organic Barley Grass.  I'm now trying that so time will tell.  Also seeing my homeopathic friend this week, and considering kinesiology too both of which have served me well for other things in the past. Determined to get to the bottom of this.  Chinese herbal remedies sounds like a good tack to take too although I'll try these things first.  Let me know how you get on.

      Cheers

      Sally

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, hope you don't mind my joining your discussion.

    I have had GA all my life since I was 2 and im now 55. Most of my life it has always been somewhere or other on my body in small patches but in the last couple of years it has become widespread to my legs, feet, stomach and back. I have found in my case that certain things will trigger it...including direct strong sunlight and also underwear that is tight or chaffing me. I have had two biopsies which both confirmed GA. The creams don't work and even if they clear it slightly it just comes back again. I have now started a gluten free diet about a month ago as I have researched extensively and many people have had good results with this although it takes 3 to 6 months to work. I am also now starting to use organic Apple cider vinegar and am taking one ounce twice a day and also using it topically. You have to soak the area for as long as you can, so I soak cotton wool and tape it to the affected areas. I have only just started this treatment so I'm not sure how it will go. As I have many many patches I am just working on one or two rings at the moment.

    it certainly is a horrible condition and as we know there is no cure but I'm just not ready to give in. 

    I also take quite a few vitamin supplements including beta glucan, vitamin c and a substantial dose of vitamin D3 but it's early days on these. 

    I am also now researching as to whether "a leaky gut" has any factor with GA as it seems the toxins from our undigested food may be getting into the bloodstream....and causing the body to react and fight and maybe shows up in the skin? Who knows?

    i would appreciate any feedback smile

    cheers 

    Claire

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    • Posted

      Hi Claire

      A lot of what you've said is also in my thinking too.  I've been on a mostly gluten-free way of eating for the last 10 years, occasionally straying but not often.  GA reared up only earlier this year so maybe I need to be stricter with myself.  I tried the apple cider vinegar approach but didn't stick with it, so again something to re-visit.  Leaky gut is something I've thought about and it'd be interesting to find out if other GA people have the same?

      At the moment I've been talking to a homeopath who I used to go to and he was always very effective with other ailments.  He's prescribed phosphorus for me this time which I've just started taking, although homeopathy is so individual what works for me may not for someone else.  At the moment watch this space on that.  If that doesn't help then I'm off to the kinesiologist.

      I'm also taking barley grass powder mixed in spring water 3 x every day as I have a feeling that may help too.

      So, I'm in a process, and have every belief that I will crack it!  Best of luck to you.  Keep me posted with how you get on.

      p.s. there's a book about Skin problems written by a nutritionist called Patrick Holford.  I haven't got it yet but his research is very detailed so I'm hoping to start reading it soon.

      Best wishes

      Sally

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  • Posted

    Hi, I received an email asking how Acitretin worked (couldn't find sender but it was one of you fellow sufferers). I took Acitretin for 6 weeks, it's a vitamin A treatment like Acutane. I quit taking as side effects were worse than GA. I developed a new kind of rash that itches, is pointy red dots and all over stomach and back that didn't have GA before. My insomnia and depression got much worse, my skin on feet peeled off, my lips blistered daily and a plastic-like film covered my teeth. I also tried Halobetasol, steroid cream. It worked well on large pink areas of GA on underarms, armpits, soft skin areas. But if I use too often it causes watermarks. (can't remember what this skin thinning action is called).  So, I'm back to square one. I'm going to try ROM therapy if Dermo lets me. I called University of Washington Medical Center Dermatology Dept for appointment. Nurse said there's no cure and not to waste time on Chinese herbs. Gee, more good news! Does anyone know if ROM therapy is 3 pills or injection? I will increase vitamin D. As I mentioned before, the tanned skin from summer didn't get GA but now it's winter and lower legs are getting more dime-size spots. I, too, believe this auto immune. It came during menopause and I have tremendous stress. I'm going to try meditation for stress. Merry Christmas, Everyone!
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    • Posted

      Hi Cathy

      Unfortunately I think the regular Medics find it impossible to think outside their own experience so when they say things like "there's no cure and not to waste time" my answer would be "well they would say that wouldn't they"!  I'm determined to keep seeking until I find whatever the trigger is that started it in the first place and deal with that.  I'm not stressed myself, I meditate a lot so I'm looking much more at diet.  I did take a food intolerance test a couple of years ago before I developed the GA which was a real eye opener and cut out dairy and gluten although that's crept back into my diet over the past year although not hugely.  I avoid grains on the whole and with dairy I avoid cow's milk products although take goat's milk.  I know that diet has the most enormous impact on health so I'm going to head off in this direction for now and will let you know how I get on.  I don't know anything about Acitetrin so can't help there.

      Wish you all the best, have a peaceful Christmas!

      Sally

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally

    Yeah drinking the apple cider vinegar takes some doing as it tastes absolutely terrible even with honey in it lol, and also you have to be careful as it will damage your teeth if you don't clean them straight afterwards! But I'm still applying it topically and I think you are meant to be breaking down the skin surface with it as it is so acid. It does tend to look worse before you are meant to let it heal. Mine is bright red now and I know it is kind of burning the skin! but it's just an experiment so I'm willing to put up with the stinging and see if there is any change to the ring when I let it heal up. God I must be getting desperate!!!

    Its very strange because I had a ring on the back of my hand and I accidentally burnt my hand taking something out of the oven and the weirdest thing is that the GA didn't come back in the area that I burnt!! Also I have a faint scar on the back of my leg which was caused by a burn about 20 years ago and the GA just appears all around it but not actually on it!

    But I honestly think grains are not good for people who have skin problems or sensitive digestive systems. They just inflame the intestines and so they never get a chance to heal. I will be starting on some pretty good probiotics and live yoghurt in the new year to help with this too.

    Who knows if I will ever get it into remission or at least stop it spreading anymore as I have never had it this bad. However I was also on HRT for two years and am wondering if that also affected me and made it worse? I wonder if anyone else has had this happen to them??...I have stopped them now about six weeks ago. Many people have said they think it's hormone related in some way.

    Its interesting about the phosphorus. You will have to let me know how that goes.

    Also I will check out the book you mentioned smile 

    Many thanks

    Claire 

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    • Posted

      Hi Claire

      I read in another forum that some beauty products have gluten in them.  That I didn't know and so I'm starting to look at labels more closely and of course they get absorbed through the skin.  All the creams and stuff I use are very neutral, non fragranced, and organic but I'll check anyway. I never took HRT myself as I was always wary of it and just supplemented well - could be hormone related as so many people seem to be getting these symptoms around menopause time.

      I've tried the Paleo way of eating which is very popular in the gym I go to, you cut out grains completely and the only dairy you're allowed is butter.  Fats are good so butter is on the menu as are eggs most days, and a certain amount of protein.  It's not viewed as a diet, more a healthy way of living and there's plenty of support at my gym for it so I think I'll get back to that.  I have found gluten-free mince pies at M&S but they're full of sugar which is not good, that seems to be another trigger!

      Cheers

      Sally

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