Case Studies - Wheatgrass Therapy


Eczema Dermatitis & Topical Steroid Withdrawal


Wheatgrass helps steroid-damaged skin to repair organically!


Using wheatgrass helps manage severe eczema by preventing or reducing rebound while steroids are reduced in a measured way.


Eczema Dermatitis
What is eczema?
what is eczema
figure 1

Eczema is a condition of the skin that makes patches of skin become dry, red and itchy. Scratching and irritants on the irritated areas may make the skin bleed. It can also make the eczema worse. Often the skin can become thick and scaly. Eczema can affect people of any age, although the condition is most common in infants. Eczema will permanently resolve by age 3 in about half of affected infants. In others, the condition tends to affect people throughout their life span.

What are the causes of eczema?

Doctors are unsure of the exact causes of eczema, but the abnormal function of the body's immune system is believed to be one factor. Some types of eczema may be triggered by substances that come in contact with the skin, such as soap, cosmetics, clothing, detergent, jewelry, or sweat. Natural allergens from the environment may also cause outbreaks of eczema. Changes in temperature, humidity, or psychological stress, may lead to outbreaks of eczema in some people.

What are the symptoms of eczema dermatitis?

Irritated, red, dry, crusted patches on the skin usually on the neck, hands, face, and legs (for childrens, the knees and elbows). If the skin becomes infected, it may develop a tiny pus-filled spots  look like red bumps or blisters and they are severely itchy. Scratching the itchy patches causes more irritation and increases the risk of infection.

How Wheatgrass Spray was born?

One day, one of my staff who had severe, generalized atopic eczema / dermatitis resistant to every kind of conventional therapy except oral steroids, took it upon herself to apply wheatgrass extract to her skin. I had noticed that her skin was improving and I encouraged her to continue using the spray as a treatment. After three months of twice every day use, her condition had improved; her persistent skin abrasions were nearly all healed, and her affected facial skin had completely improved. (See pictures below)

Eczema before treatment
before treatment
Eczema after treatment
after 3 months

After this occurrence, I began using the wheatgrass spray on several eczema patients of mine. The results have been amazing. Mild and moderate cases consistently improve without the use or need of topical steroids. Some heal in as little as a week, but a majority of the cases take a month to two months for skin to become more normal. Today, the strongest topical steroid I prescribe is 1% hydrocortisone. In extreme cases, I use the same technique, but add oral prednisolone in reduction dosage, usually starting with 15-20mg. daily.

How is eczema treated using wheatgrass?

The eczema treatment method is quite simple.

1. First, aim to reduce the steroids gradually over a period of time - say two to three weeks. For the first week, start to boost the skin's immunity by applying Wheatgrass Spray two to three times daily, but in combination with the topical steroid. Wheatgrass first, steroid on top.

2. In the second week, try to reduce the steroid by 50 percent either on a daily basis, or every second day.

3. By the third week, it should be safe to reduce the steroid to twice weekly, then once weekly, then cease. With this technique, you will build up the skin's immunity so that the steroid will hopefully no longer be required, while the Wheatgrass Spray continues to be used one to two times daily.

In the event of a skin flare up, which is common to happen within the first few months (but are generally milder than previous flare ups), continue to use the steroid/wheatgrass application. However, make sure to reduce the starting dose of topical steroid, then continue with the reduction schedule as previously done. It is possible that this cycle will be drastically shorter than the first period.

I have helped many patients, adults and children, achieve high quality skin with this method, most of whom have been able to completely stop using steroid treatments. Others only need to use the steroids to help them get over a flare from time to time, but only for days rather than weeks or months.

In the more extreme cases, I prescribe oral steroids occasionally (and ensure to gradually reducing doses) to get control of the eczema in combination with wheatgrass. Sometimes it take can take three to six months, but in the end, the outcome is highly effective.


Eczema Flare and Dry Skin Prevention Techniques

No eczema treatment, including wheatgrass and topical (or oral) steroids, is likely to work unless simple, 'damage control' measures are also taken. Work on boosting your immune system to heal your skin naturally by reducing or eliminating exposure to irritants such as soap, hot water and frequent shampooing. These dry out skin, aggravates the condition, and results in slow recovery. My rules:

  • AVOID SOAP - of any kind. This includes soap-containing shampoos, dishwashing detergents, etc. Find a colloidal oatmeal containing soap-free wash for body and face and a shampoo containing the same ingredient. Oatmeal seems to have a comparable immune-boosting action as wheatgrass, and the two appear to work together. Some colloidal oatmeal containing product brands are Dermaveen, Aveno, and Equate at Walmart stores.
  • REDUCE EXPOSURE TO HOT WATER - To put it simply, take short (5 minutes max) showers and NO BATHS. Soap and hot water combined, remove sebum from the pores of the skin and deep into the sebaceous glands, inhibiting sebum production causing dryness and itchiness. Sebaceous glands (See Figure 1) are controlled by hormones and the immune system, which wheatgrass helps strengthen naturally.
  • APPLY WHEATGRASS SPRAY AT LEAST TWICE A DAY, More often if necessary - In addition to strengthening the skin's immunity, biological actives from the wheatgrass are absorbed into the body and over time, the patient's immune status becomes stronger, which is a large benefit. I also ensure wheatgrass is taken orally to further boost their immune system. Ultimately, most patients end up controlling their own eczema just with wheatgrass treatments.

The saving to the patient in their time and cost can be substantial. Steroid use can be gradually eliminated, and in time the skin can recover naturally.

Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Many doctors, even dermatologists, simply don't believe topical steroid withdrawal causes rebound flares. "It's just the eczema playing up again. Let's try something a little stronger."

One reason doctors deny the existence of TSW is because they have no drugs available to counteract withdrawal symptoms. They have no choice therefore but to recommend 'cold turkey' or stay on steroids. I have one word of advice if you are anticipating or already using 'cold turkey'. "DON'T". There's a better way.

What is TSW?

Topical steroids (TS), were first used for treating eczema in 1951 apparently "revolutionising" its treatment. Unfortunately it was soon realised that prolonged use atrophied the skin and caused various other adverse side effects. One estimate claims there are 250 million TSW sufferers worldwide. Even after a few days of TS use, microscopic damage to the skin can be detected. After prolonged use though, macroscopic damage occurs and is often irreversible. There are many other potential adverse effects from long-term use. Most importantly, the immune competence of the skin, which protects our bodies from external invaders and is essential for steroid-damaged skin to recover, becomes compromised.


"Flares" or "rebound" effects, well known to TSW sufferers, can occur just hours after ceasing the drugs. The reaction can be severe, extremely distressful and difficult to control. Burning pain, weeping, fragile, easily damaged skin, constant itching, scratching, dryness, recurrent bacterial infections, patchy discoloration, disfigurement, depigmentation, cracking and tightening of the skin, and even urgent hospitalisation for treatment of blood-poisoning may occur. The unsightliness of one's skin can lead to adverse psychological effects.


Eventually rebound symptoms come to control the patient's life while skin damage relentlessly continues. Increasingly stronger steroids and even anti-cancer and immune-suppressant drugs such as Protopic (tacrolimus) and clobetasone (some 600 times "stronger" than hydrocortisone) are used - and cause more damage. These unfortunate individuals are often referred to as "steroid-addicted", but their rebound symptoms are no fault of their own. After all, doctors prescribed the drugs that created the situation. To be fair though, given the limited tools at their disposal i.e. modern pharmaceuticals, they most likely had no other choice.


In many cases the original problem, atopic eczema, most often a childhood disorder, spontaneously recovers, but the patient is left with TSW. Terms such as "topical steroid addiction", "red skin syndrome" etc. are often used to describe this condition but are not believed by many doctors. Also, these terms describe symptoms, not the actual status of the skin.

How do topical steroids damage my skin?

The skin is a highly complex organ; the body's largest in fact. TS damage involves structural as well as functional deterioration. Even after a week or two of TS "treatment", there is a reduction in the size of skin cells and the number of cell layers forming the skin. Reduction in cell division and growth leads to damage to the 'microcirculation' i.e. tiny blood vessels and nerves that control blood flow.


This compromises oxygen and nutrient supply essential for growth, and skin cells are progressively destroyed. In fact, the potency or "strength" of TS is measured and categorised "scientifically" by their relative ability to constrict capillaries. This may reduce redness and inflammation, but only temporarily. Collateral damage to tissue cells via reduced oxygen and nutrient supply eventually thin the skin and damage its protective functionality.


Damage to immune system cells in the skin, so vital for effective immunological protection further reduces the skin's ability to protect itself (and subsequently, the body) from infection and possible malignancy. Eventually, the skin becomes thin or atrophied, and inflamed. If continued, TS can cause irreversible damage and permanent atrophy.


Skin and nails are very closely related because they both derive from the epidermis (skin) in the fetus. Please view this quite remarkable case emonstrating how potent wheatgrass is in restoring TS-damaged fingernails, most likely by combating the immune suppression of TS and renewing damaged tissue via growth factor activation. One can then fairly compare this recovery with what can happen to your skin by persevering with wheatgrass. It takes time, but overall, the withdrawal period from TS is significantly accelerated.


Wheatgrass Restores Steroid - Damaged Nails

29 y.o. female. Atopic eczema/dermatitis since childhood.

eczema damaged nails

Severe nail damage due to prolonged daily topical steroid use (approx 12 years). Note pitting, deep ridges and scooped out appearance of the nail bed. The patient was unable to cease steroids because of the severe rebound she suffered whenever they were reduced. Wheatgrass cream was applied twice daily. Topical steroids were gradually reduced and eventually ceased altogether. There was no rebound and the nails recovered completely. No further steroid use required.

How does Wheatgrass help Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

Being a potent anti-inflammatory and immune-modulator wheatgrass extract can help control rebound by stimulating new skin growth which is essential in order to re-establish the skin's immune functionality. It most likely achieves this by repairing the function of the tiny nerves that control the supply of blood to the skin, (see figure above) significantly aiding the healing process. It can also help by reducing pain, burning and itching.


Wheatgrass has successfully helped many of my patients over the TSW hurdle. Damaged skin in time gradually reverts to normal in the majority of cases if you persevere. However, this is not a 'quick fix'. It takes time - around 6 to 12 months - but even so-called "irreversible damage" can be overcome eventually. By comparison, because the skin structure and function has not been restored, 'cold turkey' patients are often left with permanent atrophy and associated skin dysfunction.

Managing TSW With Wheatgrass(ALL AGES)

To begin with, apply wheatgrass Skin Recovery Spray (or wheatgrass juice, which can still be effective, but is not as potent) once a day (or more often if required in the early stages of withdrwal) to the affected areas.The aim is to reduce TS gradually.

The combination of TS plus WG helps reduce rebound inflammation concurrently aiding recovery of the underlying damaged skin. In the early stages it can be difficult to reduce even one application of TS, but if you persevere, you will eventually only need wheatgrass to keep your skin stable and continue recovery.



If possible, combine the topical with daily oral antioxidant-rich wheatgrass extract - Supershots or wheatgrass juice. This helps repair and maintain a damaged immune system caused by topical and/or oral steroids. Also, there is evidence that wheatgrass may stimulate growth hormone production from the pituitary gland. Growth Hormone activates IGF-1 (insulin growth factor -1) and promotes tissue growth which is what you need to help your skin overcome TS damage.


Finally, don't use any applications on your TS-affected skin other than wheatgrass and water. Because your skin's immune status is highly compromised your skin is most likely highly sensitised to ANY kind of application. e.g. soap, oils, cosmetics, shampoo - anything. This will give your skin a greater chance to recover sooner. I have learned this over the years from my patients who have experimented with wheatgrass and found that when they stopped using all topicals other than wheatgrass, improvement in their skin recovery accelerated.


Steroid dependent eczema - 8 y.o. girl. (Red Skin Syndrome)

Eczema child before

Fig. 1. This 8 year old girl suffered severe generalised eczema since she was 2 years old. Since then, she had been treated daily with topical steroids including Dermaid, Elocon, Eleuphrat, Elidel and Sigmacort. Any dose reduction resulted in severe rebound symptoms. The so-called “Red Skin Syndrome”. Note the marked inflammation and tissue swelling around the eyes and mouth. She was commenced on daily wheatgrass Skin Recovery Spray plus oral wheatgrass extract, and gradual reduction of steroids began.

Eczema child after

Fig. 2. After 5 months and a lot of hard work on the part of the girl’s mother, her skin is now “normalised” and she has had no further recurrence of eczema. At this stage, she uses the Skin Recovery Spray only, about three times a week, and has reduced the 5ml Supershot dose by half.


Mother's Testimonial:

Dear Dr. Chris.

I would like to thank you for all your help and support througout the ordeal I went through with my daughter's eczema. Without you and your wheatgrass, I would have just keep going back to cortisone as it's the only cream that the Specialist will recommend and didn't realised how much damaged it was causing my daughters skin especially the face. I have not applied cortisone on her face since using wheatgrass and will never use it again. I can't thank you enough for helping me heal my daughter's face. Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. I definitely highly recommend your wheatgrass products to anyone.


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Video: Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW- Red Skin Syndrome)