How To Create An Eczema-Friendly Diet

How To Create An Eczema-Friendly Diet

Keep Your Skin In Tiptop Shape With These Dietary Tips

If you’re not aware that your diet could be having an effect on your skin’s condition, now’s the time to make some changes. Discover how adapting your diet could help relieve your symptoms of eczema, the condition that can be miserable to live with. Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that can leave you with red, dry, itchy, scaly skin. 

Oftentimes there are tiny blisters and the skin can split, causing much pain. It's very common for children, with up to 12 percent of children suffering with the condition, and it can persist into adulthood if nutritional changes and habits are recognized and altered. While eczema can be persistent, it is possible to improve symptoms, and adapting your diet can make a huge difference. 

Here's five common ways to improve your symptoms of eczema. 

1. Eliminate allergens

Most eczema sufferers have higher than normal antibodies in their system, which means they are having an allergic reaction. These same individuals also suffer from allergic rhinitis, hayfever and/or asthma. Whereas the most common sources of allergic reactions are milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, soy, wheat, gluten, citrus and chocolate, an elimination diet can be a good way to identify if they’re contributing to your eczema. Cut out these foods one at a time, and work with a nutritionist or dietitian to ensure that you’re not missing out on any important nutrients. 

You can also try a rotation diet, where you only eat some of these highlighted foods once every four days. This can be sometimes useful in improving your eczema symptoms.

2. Take probiotics for healthy digestion

The health of the digestive tract can have an effect on eczema sufferers by supporting your immune system. The development of a healthy immune system depends on having a diverse range of bacteria in your gut from birth, and specific strains of probiotics (healthy bacteria) have been found particularly helpful for building a strong immune system, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species.

Pregnant women with eczema have found that when a probiotic blend was given to mothers during pregnancy--and again to the babies after birth--there’s a significant reduction in the development of eczema and allergies as the child gets older.

3. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet 

Inflammation is a key component in the development of eczema, so following an anti-inflammatory diet can be very beneficial. Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates result in elevated insulin levels, which in turn promotes inflammation. Instead, eat whole grain carbohydrates, protein, and plenty of vegetables to help keep insulin levels down.

It’s vital to get the right balance of fats in the diet that can also have an anti-inflammatory effect. If you don't have allergies, it may be beneficial to eat plenty of oily fish, seafood, nuts, seeds and flax oil, while eating less saturated fat by cutting back on dairy and red meat. Individuals with eczema often have an altered ability to metabolize essential fats. 

But, essential fats--and in particular omega 3 fatty acids--are required for skin health and for their roles in reducing inflammation. The most readily absorbed form of omega-3 for eczema sufferers is found in oily fish, and if it’s not possible to eat oily fish three times a week, consider supplementing with a marine algae omega-3 supplement or applying a topical smoothing cream to help eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, all due in part to overwhelming inflammatory foods. 

4. Go with skin care products designed for flare ups

Skin care products that are specifically eczema-friendly are recommended. Avoid products with ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate, talc, lanolin, propylene glycol, phthalates or any other substance that you react to. Instead, read labels and choose those moisturizers, cleansers, or topical creams that alleviate signs of inflammation. Also, manuka honey can be a helpful alternative because it naturally contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties, thus helping to support the immune system. You can either eat a small amount each day or apply topically.

5. Balance your supplement intake

Ensuring you have a good balance of supplements in your daily diet can help your skin's condition. Emerging research suggests anti-inflammatory supplements--if not attained through dietary measures--can help to rebalance the immune system and have been found to be beneficial for people with eczema. The many benefits of the correct supplements appear to boost the skin’s ability to fight infection and reduce inflammation. Nutritional supplements can be very useful, however always seek advice as there can be nutrient interactions between supplements and medication as well as warnings for certain health conditions and symptoms.

The Takeaway

Your skin is the major organ of the body, so it’s vital to keep it glowing, healthy, and restored for a lifetime. No matter the reasons you develop eczema, whether in childhood or adulthood, maintaining a balanced dietary plan will ensure that any inflammatory symptoms are kept to a minimum. If you sense an outbreak that resembles eczema, try an elimination diet and see if it works. 

The best part of maintaining healthy skin and an overall wellness body is to do your research, talk with your physician, get proper dietary guidelines, and revel in a newfound you with the best supplements and skincare products that promote a lifelong glow.