Eczema: NHS GP explains symptoms of skin condition
Sometimes, people who have the chronic, inflammatory skin condition can have dry, scaly and painful patches of skin on their body. Eczema really can be an unpleasant health condition, but all hope isn’t lost.
“Over 80 percent of eczema sufferers have higher than normal antibodies in their system,” said Nuffield Health.
In essence, this means people with the skin condition are having an allergic reaction.
Thus, eliminating certain foods from the diet could help abate symptoms of eczema.
The most common sources of allergic reactions are:
Should you so wish, eliminating out these food items one at a time from your diet can help identify if any are contributing to your eczema.
It’s best to attempt a food elimination diet with the help of a nutritional therapist.
“Adapting your diet can make a huge difference [to eczema symptoms],” added Nuffield Health.
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Another dietary recommendation from the healthcare charity is to “take probiotics for healthy digestion”.
It’s thought the health of the digestive tract is related to the immune system, which can influence eczema.
Certain strains of probiotics (healthy bacteria) have been found to be helpful in building a strong immune system.
Look out for Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species in supermarket aisles.
Probiotics are also available to buy in health stores, pharmacies and online.
In order to minimise the side effects of eczema, an anti-inflammatory diet may also be beneficial.
This involves avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates, which promote inflammation.
Examples of refined carbohydrates
- Bread and tortillas containing white flour
- White rice
Instead, focus on eating wholegrain carbohydrate, protein and plenty of vegetables.
Honey is also a good addition to your diet if you’re trying to reduce symptoms of eczema.
This is because honey naturally contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties, meaning it can support the immune system.
Ensuring you have a good balance of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids in your diet can help your skin’s condition too.
Nuffield Health highlight four vitamins and minerals particularly helpful for eczema sufferers:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
Vitamin C is found in brightly coloured fruit, vegetables and rosehip, whereas vitamin E is found in: sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, avocado and dried apricots.
Vitamin D is best absorbed from sunlight in the summer months, and is recommended for supplementation between October to March in the UK.
Zinc, on the other hand, is found in lean red meat, seafood and pumpkin seeds.
“Emerging research suggests that flavonoids (plant molecules) can help to rebalance the immune system and have been found to be beneficial for people with eczema,” concluded Nuffield Health.
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