Atopic dermatitis (AD) , aka eczema, is a dry skin condition that makes it red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. AD is a chronic condition that can flare up depending on certain triggers such as environmental exposures, weather, and food. It is associated with asthma or allergic rhinitis. AD can be seen in up to approximately 10.7% of children in the United States .
At this time, there is no cure, BUT there are good treatment options and self-care measures, which can relieve itching and even prevent flare-ups. In this article, we will discuss vitamins and supplements that can possibly help your child. This article references many research papers.
Best Vitamins For Eczema
There are many vitamins and supplements that may help AD.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Evening Primose Oil
- Fish Oil
Looking at the research available, Vit D, probiotics, prebiotics appears to be the best vitamins for AD. These supplement may have a positive influence on the immune system and thus help it to improve. I have had good experiences for my children as well. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss further about Vit D, probiotics, prebiotics and other vitamins and supplements. Hopefully this information will help improve your child’s AD and their quality of life.
Natural Supplements For Eczema
Many parents ask about natural supplements to boost their child’s health. I think it’s a totally legitimate concern because what parent doesn’t want the best for their child. The common vitamins and natural supplements for eczema sufferer available include Vitamin A,C, D, probiotic, prebiotic, evening primrose oil, fish oil, quercetin and zinc. I did my research to verify if these supplements can help AD. Now I want to show you the research data and facts to help you decide whether to consume these or give to your children. As always, please discuss this with your doctor before starting any new supplement.
There are several scientific studies showing a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and eczema . It’s commonly known that vit D deficiency can affect bone health, but the influence of vit D on other health conditions is being investigated. This is especially true for fields in allergy and immunology.
Vitamin D Supplementation For Relief Of Eczema Symptoms
There is evidence that eczema symptoms may improve with using oral vit D supplementation of 1000 IU vitamin D for 1 month , in children 2-17 years old.
For adults, oral vitamin D supplement of 1600 IU per day for 60 days , gave significant improvement in atopic dermatitis severity.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
While vitamins can help AD, there are supplements (i.e. probiotics) that can help as well.
Your body is full of both “good” and “bad” bacteria. Probiotic supplement are considered “good” bacteria because they help keep your digestive system healthy.
Depending on your child’s diet, your child is probably already eating foods that contain probiotics. They’re commonly found in yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and dark chocolate. Probiotics can also be taken as supplements whether in pill form or powder form.
Probiotic-Rich Foods include:
- fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi
- raw cheese
- apple cider vinegar
- dark chocolate
If you take probiotic supplements, you may experience less stomach upset if you take it with food.
Prebiotics are foods or supplements that help probiotics. Hence the PRE because it is a precursor to probiotic. In a nutshell, they are non-digestible ingredients that stimulate the growth of good gut bacteria.
Prebiotics are often in the form of oligosaccharides. These may occur naturally in high quantities (as in human milk) or may be added as dietary supplements to foods, beverages, and infant formula. Dietary fiber and inulin (found in certain vegetables) may also be considered prebiotics.
Prebiotics In Treatment Of Eczema
Prebiotics has not been extensively studied in the treatment AD. Overall, there is not much evidence that supports prebiotics alone for AD.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose is a plant that’s originally from North America, but it also grows in Europe. It gets its name from the plant’s yellow flowers, which bloom in the evening. The oil comes from the plant’s seeds. Evening primrose oil has an omega-6 fatty acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
There are many studies evaluating the efficacy of oral gamma linolenic acid supplementation for AD, but the results are conflicting. The largest and best reported studies did not show convincing evidence of any benefit.
In fact, the UK’s Medicines Control Agency’s withdrew product license for eczema.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which have been shown to decrease inflammation in several ways, including inhibition of inflammatory protein production.
Due to fish oil’s anti-inflammatory potential, some studies have demonstrated that this supplement may also provide relief to eczema patients , though larger studies are needed to substantiate this potential benefit.
Fish oil can be consumed through salmon, halibut, mackerel and sardines, but sometimes fish can cause AD to flare up if that child or person is allergic or sensitive to fish. Be careful when first introducing fish into your child’s diet.
Vegetable source of omega 3 fat include hemp seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts. Again, these can cause AD exacerbation so use with caution. From my experience, my children tolerated hemp seed well.
Quercetin (Flavonoids) is a natural chemical present in many fruits, vegetables, and grains.
It’s one of the most abundant antioxidants in the diet and plays an important role in helping your body combat free radical damage, which can be linked to chronic diseases.
In addition, its antioxidant properties may help reduce inflammation, allergy symptoms, and blood pressure.
Quercetin effectively inhibits the secretion of histamine and pro-inflammatory markers. Through this, it can help those with eczema by decreasing inflammation and food allergies reactions.
Foods that are a good source of quercetin:
- peppers – yellow and green
- onions – red and white
- asparagus – cooked
- red apples
- red grapes
- red leaf lettuce
- berries – all types, such as cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries
Zinc is an essential element found throughout your body that’s important to the functioning of your immune system and metabolism.
Some research seems to show that zinc may help AD.
Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and increases the resurfacing of a skin wound with new epithelium (upper skin layer). Also, zinc oxide paste has long been used as a soothing and anti-itch agent. (I.e. diaper rash cream)
Studies are showing vitamin A deficiency may exacerbate eczema , but whether vitamin A supplements improves eczema is still being researched.
It’s not clear if Vitamin C is beneficial to those with eczema . More evidence is needed.
Does Vitamin D Help Eczema?
Based on the research presented in this article, Vitamin D does appear to be beneficial. Here is another article about vitamin D and eczema .
There are many vitamins and supplements that can be beneficial for eczema. The supplements that have been well studied were discussed in this article. Overall, it seems that Vit D and probiotics are the best vitamins for eczema. There are more and if you’re interested in more information, let me know in the comments below! Or feel free to contact me. Click here to read more about how vitamin D can help eczema . Click here to read how probiotics can help eczema.