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Maneuvering Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that causes dry patches of skin that are itchy and inflamed. The skin can appear red, bumpy, dry, cracked, and commonly bleeds from scratching.

There are a few different types of eczema, the two most common being atopic dermatitis & contact dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, it comes from an unknown origin.

Contact dermatitis is eczema due to an allergen that your skin has come in contact with.

But not everyone suffers from eczema, so what really causes it?

Eczema is your body’s immune response overacting to something in your environment or an internal trigger

The gut microbiome is the key to our immune system, as a very large amount of our immune system is developed in our gut.

So, whenever we think about eczema, we need to take a look at our gut health.

Commonly people suffering from eczema have an increased intestinal permeability, typically known as “leaky gut.”

This is caused by a variety of things that continuously insult our gut lining including chronic stress, alcohol use, long-term antibiotic or medication use, eating a poor diet, infection etc...

Damage to our gut lining leads to the separation of the tissue that lines our gut, this allows substances such as food and bacteria to enter the bloodstream, and create a lot of inflammation both in the gut & the whole body.

This can cause a whole host of symptoms in the gut and systemically, including eczema.

So what can we do about it?

The first thing to do is work on healing the gut.

  • This should include cutting out food triggers and supporting the gut with nutritive and healing substances such as food, supplements & herbs.

  • Incorporating more nourishing foods such as bone broth, and foods that help support healthy gut bacteria such as fermented foods.

  • Potentially using probiotics to help support the healthy gut bacteria.

We should also be focusing on reducing inflammation in the body as eczema is a consequence of inflammation.

  • This can be done by consuming a whole foods diet and reducing the consumption of simple carbohydrates and sugar.

  • High EPA fish oil has shown benefits in reducing inflammation in the body & reducing the severity of eczema, as omega-3 fatty acids sit in the skin’s barrier.

  • Black seed oil is an oil with quite good anti-inflammatory properties, it has been shown both topically and internally to reduce the severity of eczema.

Other things to consider include testing vitamin D status & nourishing the skin’s barrier.

  • A Vitamin D deficiency has been seen in those who suffer from eczema. It’s important to make sure you have enough vitamin D in the blood.

    • Notably, it’s important to know your levels before supplementing to ensure the proper dose.

  • Ensuring the skin is properly moisturized will help to protect the skin’s barrier and reduce the symptoms and severity of eczema.

These are just some of the top things that should be considered when treating eczema. Of course, there are other options that you can discuss with your healthcare practitioner.


Dr. Samantha Allen, ND



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