Itch, red, dry, cracked – if this describes your skin, you may have been dealing with eczema or commonly known as atopic dermatitis, and you may be at your wit’s end for a cure. You’ve slathered on every cream, oil, lotion, potion, and anything else that’s been recommended to you over the years to be disappointed time after time.
If the emollient treatments haven’t been a huge help, a lot of skin sufferers are having great results with vitamins and minerals.
While it usually occurs with children, even adults can have a spell of eczema for the first time. It can become a chronic condition and it could severely impact the quality of your life. Emollients and topical corticosteroids are treatments recommended by doctors, but they just don’t always work.
Eczema is said to be a glitch or over-reaction of the immune system. The gut lining houses over 70% of the body’s immune cells and our useful gut bacteria play a crucial role in keeping it healthy. Studies have found alterations in the makeup of the gut microflora in many eczema sufferers (most consistently a reduced proportion of Bifidobacteria and/or an increase of Staphylococcus aureus).
Gut hyper-permeability (“leaky gut”) may also be linked, sparking inflammation in the skin. Enhancing gut health is therefore a top priority when aiming to reduce eczema seriousness.
For this reason, complementing your diet with certain nutrients may be effective in treating eczema.
Zinc serves a variety of purposes, but the fact that it reduces inflammation is what is key here. Organic meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, seeds, and eggs are all great sources of zinc.
Many eczema sufferers claim that adding zinc to their daily diet has significantly reduced the outbreaks. There is some controversy over whether it actually works or not, so it may depend on the individual’s biochemistry.
- Omega 3/Fish Oil
This has been shown to decrease inflammation in several ways, including inhibition of inflammatory protein production. Emerging research also indicates that omega-3 may have a positive effect on the gut microflora, which may explain some of its benefits.
Fish oil can be consumed through salmon, halibut, mackerel, and sardines, but sometimes fish can cause atopic dermatitis to flare up if that child or person is allergic or sensitive to fish.
The phytonutrient quercetin is found in foods such as leafy vegetables, broccoli, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea, and red wine. It’s one of the most abundant antioxidants in the diet and plays an important role in helping your body combat free radical damage, which can be linked to chronic diseases.
In addition, its antioxidant properties may help reduce inflammation, allergy symptoms, and blood pressure. Quercetin effectively inhibits the secretion of histamine and pro-inflammatory markers. Through this, it can help those with eczema by decreasing inflammation and food allergy reactions.
Probiotics are live bacteria that have been proven to benefit the body in a multitude of ways, one of which is that they may help rebalance the gut flora, decrease intestinal permeability, and improve immune function. These are commonly found in yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and dark chocolate.
Probiotics can also be taken as supplements whether in pill form or powder form. There have been many studies linked to eczema and probiotics, showing a positive outcome in reducing the irritation.
Sources also find that balancing out your vitamin consumption can be helpful. You may have an abundance of one thing and not enough of another, and your body doesn’t know which way to go.
A dermatologist or even your regular physician can run some tests to see where you have deficiencies.
There are also other strategies for treating eczema such as reducing allergens in the body, following an anti-inflammatory diet. A nutritional specialist would be incredibly helpful with reviewing your diet with you and making recommendations.