Woman, 26, who has battled with eczema since she was born – and it was once so severe her skin bled – is almost cured after changing her diet just two months ago
- Victoria Jinks, from Birmingham, tried various skin creams for years
- But after just 2 months of being a vegan her skin is ‘almost cured’ she says
- And Ms Jinks says she is proud to be doing her bit to save the environment
A British woman has revealed how she beat her life-long itchy eczema by switching to a vegan diet – and her skin is ‘almost cured’ after just two months.
Victoria Jinks, 26, had suffered with severe eczema since she was born and would cover up out of embarrassment during hot summer months.
Slathering on greasy ointments that didn’t always work and sometimes made her skin angrier did not help, and some days she had to stay home from work because her skin was so bad it bled.
Last year Ms Jinks, from Birmingham, decided to stop eating meat to see if it would help her skin.
She has now been fully vegan for two months and is already eczema-free for the first time in 10 years, after it cleared up for a short spell when she was 16.
She says giving up meat has not only fixed her problem skin but is also better for the environment and she would never turn back.
Ms Jinks is sharing her story in the hope it can help others struggling to find a treatment for their eczema.
Victoria Jinks, 26, struggled with eczema for years before she turned vegan 2 months ago
Ms Jinks, from Birmingham, says going vegan has cleared up her skin and made her feel ‘normal’
Since she was a child Ms Jinks has struggled with the common skin complaint, which can cause dry, sore and red skin, since she was a child.
There were times when Ms Jinks struggled to go to work because her skin would bleed in the creases all over her body.
She kept covered up in hot summer weather out of fear of what people would think, and constantly having to listen to people telling her to stop scratching her skin.
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After years of her sister’s fiancée suggesting a vegan diet might help her eczema, Ms Jinks decided last year to give up meat to see if her skin would improve.
And two months ago, she went totally vegan – cutting out all meat and dairy products – and now her skin is completely eczema free for the first time in 10 years.
She credits the lifestyle change for helping her feel ‘normal’.
‘I’ve had eczema since I was born,’ Ms Jinks said.
‘I have always been aware of it. It disappeared for a year or two when I was 16 and when it came back it really upset me.
Ms Jinks’s eczema was sometimes so bad it bled and she had to stay home from work
Now, after cutting out meat and dairy, Ms Jinks says her skin is better than ever and she is helping the environment at the same time
‘I remember lying down and my mum having to grease my entire body every night.
‘I hated have cream put on me’
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to redness, blistering, oozing, scaling and thickening.
It usually appears in the first few months of life and affects around 10 per cent of babies.
Eczema’s cause is not fully understood but it is thought to be brought on by the skin’s barrier to the outside world not working properly, which allows irritants and allergy-inducing substances to enter.
It may be genetic due to the condition often running in families.
As well as their skin being affected, sufferers may experience insomnia and irritability.
Many factors can make eczema worse. These may include:
- Heat, dust, soap and detergents
- Being unwell, such as having a cold
- Dry skin
There is no cure for eczema, however, 70 per cent of childhood sufferers no longer have the condition in their teens.
Patients should avoid known triggers for flare ups and use emollients.
Source: British Skin Foundation
‘I hated having cream put on me constantly and I’ve now developed a phobia of being greasy.’
The condition, which affects around 10 per cent of children, usually disappears into adulthood but can occur in people of any age.
It is usually a chronic condition which has no cure, but it can be treated with medications, moisturising and avoiding triggers.
It affected Ms Jinks’s life by dictating which clothes she could wear.
She said: ‘I could never wear nice clothes during summer periods and I would have to wear turtle necks and tights constantly.
Covering up during hot weather made the condition worse
‘No matter what the weather was, I was always covered up which made it ten times worse.
‘People would always say “stop scratching!” And that would aggravate me more than the constant itch on my body.
‘It made me very depressed and sometimes I couldn’t even manage to get to work because of the bleeding creases all over my body.
‘For years and years my sister’s vegan fiancé told me to go vegan as it would make my eczema better and he was so right.
‘Steroid creams would always make it come back angrier’
‘Prior to this I would use steroid creams for quick relief but it would always come back angrier.’
Veganism means stopping eating meat and dairy products like milk or cheese, and trying not to use any products which are made using animals.
The lifestyle has become increasingly popular in recent years as people say it reduces animal cruelty, is better for the environment and is healthier.
Vegans do not eat meat or dairy (pictured: Ms Jinks’s meals), or use products made using animal products or tested on animals
Ms Jinks said: ‘Giving up meat and dairy has changed my life, the animals and helped the planet, maybe only a little bit but I’m proud I’ve done my bit.
‘I feel great now, I feel normal’
‘I feel great now, I feel “normal” and it’s incredible. I never thought I would ever feel comfortable in my own body but I am finally here.’
Ms Jinks says going vegan has been like a miracle cure for her eczema and says that dairy and alcohol were her skin’s biggest triggers.
She now wants to share her advice with others.
Ms Jinks said she used different creams on her skin for years but they did not help and some even made the problem worse
Ms Jinks is sharing the story of how turning vegan ‘almost cured’ her eczema in the hope it could help others with the skin complaint
Ms Jinks says going vegan has made her skin eczema free for the first time in 10 years
Ms Jinks used to have to cover up during sunny weather because she was worried about what other people would say about her skin
‘Quitting dairy and meat may not work for everybody and won’t cure eczema, but it’s helped massively and I swear by it. It was almost a miracle,’ she added.
‘I would also steer clear of steroid creams as they thin your skin and can become addictive due to the fast clear up. Remember it’ll only make it worse on the long run!
‘My skin is completely clear, almost cured. It took around two months to be eczema free but I would never turn back.
‘Just try it! You will feel amazing after the results.
‘You’re not only helping yourself, you’re helping to not support the awful meat and dairy industry and you’ve made a huge change in saving our beautiful earth.’
For more of Ms Jinks’s story visit her Instagram profile.
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