Because eczema is a chronic condition, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can go into managing its symptoms and reducing flare-ups. One such lifestyle adjustment that many people find helpful involves their diet–including both what to avoid and what to eat more of. In this realm, probiotics for eczema have been gaining some spotlight lately as a possible method of better managing eczema symptoms through diet. Read on to learn more about what probiotics are and how they may be able to minimize your symptoms of dry, cracked, and uncomfortable skin.
What Are Probiotics?
The human body is already home to a complex microbiome of various living microorganisms, including many types of bacteria, that are harmless or even beneficial. By definition, probiotics are any microorganisms that live in the human body and provide some type of health benefit (Healthline). Although most people associate probiotics with bacteria, there are also some types of yeasts and other organisms that can be beneficial.
Some of the ways that probiotics can help to boost your overall health is to increase immune system function, balance out the ratio of “good” and “bad” gut bacteria, and regulate the digestive system.
The Link between Probiotics and Eczema
The benefits of probiotics for eczema aren’t limited to your gut, though. Eczema is a chronic skin condition that is caused by underlying inflammation (National Eczema Association). Because of this, the most effective treatment methods for its symptoms need to be aimed at calming inflammation that begins from the inside. One way to do this, as numerous studies have found, is by adding more probiotics to your diet.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found that consuming the right types of probiotics could help to reduce the severity of eczema symptoms or even prevent their development in the first place, although more research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms behind this (NewsOK).
The general idea, however, is that introducing more “good” microorganisms to your body’s microbiome could help to naturally reduce the number of “bad” microorganisms that are present, without requiring the use of antibiotics (National Eczema Association). This may ease the stress on your body’s immune system, which is already producing unnecessary inflammatory responses in the case of eczema.
How to Add More Probiotics For Eczema
One of the most common and convenient ways to get more probiotics in your diet is to take a probiotic supplement. There are also a number of probiotic-rich foods that you can add to your daily diet, including:
- Apple cider vinegar
Eczema Management Tips
In addition to adjusting your diet to include probiotics for eczema, supplements or more foods that contain them, you can also help to reduce eczema flare-ups naturally with these tips:
- Use a moisturizer like Eksem Moisturizing Body Cream that does not contain fragrances, preservatives, or steroids. Instead, Eksem includes simple, gentle, and effective ingredients like naturally-derived essential micronutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E to help soothe the skin and calm inflammation.
- Identify your eczema triggers and try to avoid them whenever possible.
- Avoid using bar soaps, foaming cleansers, and other skin care and personal care products that contain harsh, drying ingredients.
- Try not to scratch, as scratching can lead to infections. Keep a gentle moisturizer on hand to apply whenever the urge to itch strikes.
Effectively managing eczema can be difficult if the condition is only approached based on masking its outward symptoms. Instead, take a multifaceted approach by including changes in diet and lifestyle habits and nourishing your skin with the right micronutrients to help ease inflammation and the signs of redness, dryness, and itching that it can cause.
While adding probiotics for eczema to your diet may help to minimize your symptoms, it’s likely that you’ll see the best results when combining all of these strategies that ultimately address the underlying inflammation that spurs eczema flare-ups.
About the Authors
William Goolsbee has spent his career in Life Sciences including leading roles in drug development in immunology and genetic medicine. Recent senior positions include Chairman of the Board at Sarepta Therapeutics and Founder and CEO at Metrodora Therapeutics.
Dr. Gil Price
Gil Price M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at the Propharma Group, where he provides medical supervision for all clinical trials. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Drug Safety Solutions, where he oversaw safety monitoring for drugs in clinical development. Dr. Price also served as the Director of Clinical Development at Medimmune Oncology and Director of Medical Affairs at Glaxo.