by Harry Hong, PhD, L.Ac.

Tom was a six-month-old boy when his mom brought him to me. His mom had food and environmental sensitivities and Tom was born with a highly sensitive body. When I first saw Tom, his little body was full of red eczema, especially around the month, under the chin, on top of the skull, inside the elbows and behind the knees. He didn’t have much hair and looked almost bald. His mom outfitted him with small gloves to prevent him from scratching his itchy skin. However, some of the eczema areas had already been scratched and were bleeding with yellowish fluid. Cortisone cream was used frequently but the skin rash remained. Tom didn’t sleep well at night. During the day, he looked miserable and was very cranky.

Many children are born with sensitivities. Initial trigger for newborn’s eczema is often cow’s milk, but they can be sensitive to many other things around them, including mother’s milk. Tom was sensitive to both cow’s and mother’s milk. His mom even mentioned that her diet dramatically affected his skin condition. If she ate certain sensitive foods, Tom’s skin flared up after drinking her milk.

From electrodermal testing, I found that Tom was sensitive to many foods as well as necessary nutrients and environmental factors. I started him with a special dietary plan and desensitization treatment called Immune System Reprograming, a non-invasive back tapping technique to reduce sensitivities. Changing his diet to non-dairy formula with daily food rotation and desensitization therapy helped. His skin rash reduced but frequent outbreaks persisted. Clearly, sensitivity is only a trigger and eczema has a deeper root issue—the toxins and malfunction of the digestive system and liver detox function.

There are two major routes for the body to excrete toxins: the intestines and bladder. If the toxicity increases a lot inside the body, the toxins can be expelled through other minor detox routes such as breathing from the lungs and sweating via skin. For those with highly sensitive body, their nerve endings on the skin are very sensitive, especially to toxin-containing sweats. Neurogenic inflammation occurs in skin areas often exposed to toxic sweats. This is perhaps the reason why eczema often occurs in the areas that easily sweat. Addressing internal toxins in the body resolves the root issue for eczema.

Based on ancient Chinese medicine, eczema is caused by Dampness and Heat, the two factors of modern interpretation as likely the intestinal toxin and inflammation, respectively. The biggest toxin source inside the body is the digestive tract where hundreds of thousands of microbes reside. Common digestive problem is called dysbiosis which refers to a condition of microbial imbalances such as yeast overgrowth (Candidiasis) and the decline of beneficial bacteria. Over-production of mycotoxin from the yeast, Candida albicans, is the cause of many inflammatory symptoms including various pain symptoms, brain fog, skin rashes, indigestion and sleep issues. High inflammation level greatly increases neurogenic sensitivity of the body. All symptoms due to neurogenic sensitivity including eczema get worse during Candida outbreak in the body.

Liver is the number one detox organ in the body. High toxicity always stresses the liver the most. Liver stress and resultant detoxification blockage cause high inflammation and sleeping issues. Supporting liver detox function with supplementation is equally important to cleansing Candida and other harmful microbial in gut. Many supplements including herbs, homeopathic and nutritional remedies can be used for this purpose. Tom’s supplements were all in liquid form and easy to take. After six months of detox and desensitization, his skin cleared up, his hair grew back like a normal kid, and he slept through the night like a healthy baby.

Harry Hong is a licensed acupuncturist specializing in holistic healing for the highly sensitive. He teaches highly sensitive people to listen to their body and take charge of their own health. With his own systematic IBMT protocol that includes Chinese medicine, modern homeopathy, energetic testing and allergy desensitization, Dr. Hong helps highly sensitive people gain back their immune strength and their life. He has offices in both South Florida and Chicago. For more information, email [email protected] and/or visit