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Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes dry, itchy skin and scaly rashes. Whilst eczema is often treated with steroid medications and creams, there are a number of supplements that can benefit your skin to help ease symptoms as well. In this article, discover the best supplements to help treat eczema. But first, let’s find out more about the symptoms and causes.
There are many different types of eczema, with atopic dermatitis being the most common, affecting 1 in 5 children and 1 in 10 adults in the UK. Whilst eczema is most commonly seen in children, it can affect anyone of any age. It is usually a long-term condition, often starting out in early childhood. But symptoms may improve, or completely go away with age.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can be upsetting and uncomfortable to live with. These include:
Dry, scaly skin
Open, crusted or weeping sores
There are many irritants in our environment that can contribute to eczema. One of the most common causes of an eczema flare up is exposure to an allergen, such as dust or pollen. When an allergen is detected, the immune system responds and creates inflammation on the skin's surface. Other common triggers are clothing, household irritants, swimming, the sun and cold weather. Aside from environmental triggers, people with eczema may not produce enough of a protein called filaggrin, which is responsible for retaining skin moisture. It is also believed that people with eczema have a dysfunctional skin barrier, which allows irritants to penetrate deep into the skin.
Although eczema is usually treated with specifically formulated moisturisers and steroids, there are a number of supplements that can help reduce inflammation and improve eczema symptoms. Here are our top 3 supplements for helping treat eczema.
Vitamin D is ingested through the diet or produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Eczema symptoms often get worse during the winter months, which is believed may be caused by lack of sunlight and a reduction in vitamin D production. A common treatment for severe eczema in the winter is exposure to ultraviolet light in order to stimulate production of vitamin D. According to multiple studies, low levels of vitamin D is associated with more severe eczema symptoms in children, and taking vitamin D supplements can improve symptoms.
During the inflammatory response, the body releases highly reactive oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, which help clear microbial invaders. However, when inflammation persists and there are too many of these free radicals, it causes damage to cells. Vitamin E is a common ingredient found in many skincare products, as it helps reduce damage caused by oxidative stress and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Research suggests that vitamin E can improve symptoms and quality of life of people suffering with eczema.
Zinc also possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help speed the healing process of wounds. A review of multiple studies reveals that zinc supplements may help treat atopic dermatitis symptoms and reduce severity, especially if you have a deficiency.
Living with eczema can be challenging and upsetting. Whilst eczema medications may be effective at treating the symptoms, they do not help tackle the cause or improve your skin health. But taking a daily supplement, such as our vitamin D, multivitamin and zinc tablets, can help support better skin health and may help ease symptoms, especially when taken alongside other eczema treatments.