Going mad over itchy, inflamed red, and sometimes scaly, patches…
There’s nothing quite like the irritation and frustration that eczema can cause. And often it starts showing on the face, hands and/or feet. Sometimes, it can also affect the creases on the elbow and knee, wrists, neck, and ankles.
Eczema is quite common and it usually flares up as a reaction to otherwise harmless elements such as animal fur, environmental allergens such as pollen, food proteins, and even a rise in body temperature that may be due to exercise or stress.
What you should know is that eczema is an imbalance from within the body. It is a reaction that is more than skin-deep. Eczema signals that you have an overactive immune system and that your gut health is poor.
Stop Scratching Now! Here’s Why…
Your immune cells’ normal reaction is to produce inflammation in response to an infection or injury. They make the affected part red, hot, and swollen as a way to defend your body and protect you, allowing the inflammed part to heal.
With eczema, on the other hand, your immune system becomes highly sensitive and over-reactive to even the slightest exposure to any of the triggers. It pushes inflammatory signals right to the surface of the skin, causing the itchy, inflamed red patches.
And when something is itchy, your tendency would be to scratch. When you do, the skin barrier, the outer layer of the skin, breaks down, making it susceptible to germs and more allergen to get inside. This causes even more inflammation and itching, so you get stuck in a vicious cycle.
How Everything is Connected
What is making your immune system become overly reactive and sensitive in the first place? It is all in the gut. 70% of your immune system is located within the guts. It is home to billions of microorganisms that are responsible for defending your body against infections and injuries. These gut bacteria communicates with your immune cells and tells them how intensely they should react to eczema triggers. So when there’s a gut imbalance, your immune system goes awry.
One factor for microbe imbalance is antibiotic use. Antibiotics kills not only the bad bacteria, but also the good ones that are supposed to be fighting off the badies, thus causing the imbalance. This highly contributes to eczema in kids and adults alike. That is why improving the levels of gut microbes can help to ease your eczema by toning down the immune system’s reactivity and the inflammation on your skin.
Restoring the Balance
These nutrients can help to keep an immune system from going into hyperdrive:
Vitamin A, zinc, and glutamine supports the gut lining, which is where most of the microbiome resides. Healthy gut lining means better balance of gut bacteria. Vitamin A, zinc, and Vitamin D are nutrients essential for a healthy immune system, in general. They promote skin tissue repair. Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory and helps regulate immune system.
Medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake and reishi and also some herbs like Baical skullcap, and milk thistle have properties that balances an overactive immune system, as well as reducing allergic symptoms that cause to eczema. They work by reducing the production of inflammatory signals that cause the redness, swelling, and itching. These supplements are best taken orally since they may not be absorbed well through the skin.
Supplementing with certain probiotic strains can greatly improve the levels of good bacteria within the gut too by restoring the lost microbiome.
As each patient has different needs, and different triggers, it is best to talk to a Practitioner to get your own personalised supplement plan.