Fight dry, red, itchy skin with these real foods that naturally soothe eczema.
If you have eczema, you know how uncomfortable this condition can be. More than 31 million Americans suffer from this skin condition that can be caused by immune reactions, allergies, irritants or genes. Children are also prone to eczema and the problem can start as early as childhood.
Here’s how to eat to relieve your (or your child’s) symptoms and what to avoid.
What is Eczema?
The word “eczema” comes from a Greek word meaning “to cook.” Eczema can describe a group of different conditions that cause redness, inflammation and itching of the skin.
The different types of eczema include:
- Atopic Dermatitis: The most common form of eczema, this extremely itchy rash is caused by skin barrier problems or a failing immune system.
- Contact dermatitis: caused by contact with an environmental irritant or allergen, such as detergent, perfume, or household cleaning products.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema: Usually caused by contact with an allergen, this type of eczema presents as blisters on the hands and feet.
- Stasis dermatitis: usually occurs in the elderly. Stasis dermatitis occurs when poor circulation in the legs causes the veins in the legs to swell, causing irritation and itching of the skin.
- Nummular eczema: Caused by dry skin or exposure to an allergen, this type of eczema manifests as round lesions on the skin.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: White or yellow greasy patches on the skin caused by changes in hormones, genes, or bacteria.
How to Know You are Suffering from Eczema
If you have eczema, you likely have one or more of these common symptoms:
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Swollen patches of skin
- Crispy skin that can ooze
- Scaly patches
- Dark blotchy patches on the skin
The Top 8 Foods to Ease Eczema
Fortunately, nutrition can play an important role in helping you better control eczema. Since this is an inflammatory disease, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can be of great help.
These natural foods can help reduce inflammation, relieve itchy skin, and other frustrating eczema symptoms.
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as wild salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin. EPA is a particular omega-3 fatty acid that can help improve eczema symptoms by reducing leukotriene B4, which is produced by an inflammatory response in the body and is believed to play a role in eczema symptoms. eczema.
Try to consume two servings (3.5 grams) of oily fish per week to reduce inflammation and promote skin health. Combine wild salmon with cauliflower rice or make a salmon burger served with avocado and sauerkraut.
Note: While fish can be great for healthy skin for some, it can be a trigger for others. If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to fish, stay away.
Berries are rich in flavonoids that can help reduce inflammation while also strengthening connective tissue to support eczema-prone skin.
Try adding strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries to your smoothies, or over coconut yogurt with a drizzle of raw honey and a handful of nuts or seeds.
3. Probiotic-rich Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are packed with probiotics that help boost the immune system and help manage allergies, a great trigger for childhood eczema. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can also take probiotics to reduce the risk of infantile eczema in their babies.
If your diet does not include enough foods rich in probiotics, you can add a high quality probiotic to your supplementation routine. Some great brand options include Klaire Labs’ probiotics, which are hypoallergenic, and megasporebiotics.
4. Coconut Oil
Since coconut oil has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it can reduce eczema caused by staph on the skin.
Use coconut oil as a moisturizer to soothe irritated skin and add it to your diet to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Try adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to smoothies, pour melted coconut oil over steamed vegetables, and use it in place of butter in your recipes. favorite pastry.
Pineapple is rich in bromelain, an enzyme that reduces inflammation. When applied as a cream, bromelain can help heal eczema-damaged skin.
Enjoy pineapple blended into a smoothie or diced over a bowl of unsweetened, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt. You can also make fresh pineapple juice with a little ginger or turmeric to add an anti-inflammatory touch.
6. Manuka Honey
Like coconut oil, honey is great for eczema and can be used topically. Manuka honey, in particular, contains antibacterial properties to help fight skin infections such as staph that can cause eczema. One study found that using manuka honey helps heal lesions in patients with atopic dermatitis.
Manuka honey can be used directly on the skin, or it can be mixed in a teacup, blended into a smoothie, drizzled with berries, or enjoyed straight from a spoon.
7. Bone Broth
Bone broth is great for gut health and gut healing is essential for reducing eczema as it plays an important role in the immune system. Studies show that dysbiosis, an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, can lead to atopic dermatitis.
To support your intestines, you can drink a little bone broth daily or use it as a base for a homemade soup.
Eating lots of vegetables reduces inflammation, an important part of controlling eczema symptoms. There are also certain vegetables rich in prebiotics that help feed healthy gut bacteria, which is especially beneficial for those with allergies. Studies show that the combination of prebiotics and probiotics was a promising natural treatment option for atopic dermatitis.
Add a healthy dose of prebiotics to your diet by consuming vegetables such as:
- Lion teeth
- Jerusalem artichokes
Throw your vegetables into a smoothie, or make it a goal to enjoy a fresh salad or a plate of vegetables every day.
Eczema Trigger Foods
There are a number of foods that people with eczema may want to avoid, and they also turn out to be common allergens. Food allergies and atopic dermatitis go hand in hand, as children with food allergies are believed to be at particular risk for atopic dermatitis. In fact, one-third of children with atopic dermatitis also suffer from food allergies.
The following foods are estimated to be responsible for about 90% of food allergies in children with atopic dermatitis:
- Cow’s milk
Try cutting these foods out of your diet to see if your symptoms improve.
Other Tips to Combating Eczema
In addition to choosing foods to help reduce eczema and eliminate potential allergens, here are some other tips you can take to help manage symptoms.
Here are five no-diet tips to help you deal with your eczema symptoms.
1. Reduce Stress
Stress is a big trigger for eczema. Every day, try to find ways to reduce your stress by meditating, practicing yoga, getting some fresh air, and taking the time to do the things you love.
2. Avoid Environmental Irritants
Because environmental irritants are common causes of eczema, it’s important to avoid things like perfumes, harsh cleaning products, and scented detergents. Even if you choose unscented dish soap, you may want to wear dishwashing gloves to avoid contact with the harsh soap. The less you expose your skin, the better.
4. Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to eliminate some foods that cause eczemas, such as gluten, dairy, and soy. Following a paleo diet also means eliminating dyes, additives, and artificial ingredients from your diet, which can also help maintain skin health. It’s one more reason to keep food additives out of your diet!