By Dr. Erica Armstrong (bio below) – When healing from inflammation it’s important to supply the body with the proper nutrients, minerals and antioxidants from food; however, sometimes supplementation is necessary. Today I’m going to share the best supplements for eczema symptoms and root causes you may want to try.
In a functional whole person approach toward healing and preventing eczema, we can begin by asking two questions:
- Does this person need to be rid of something? (e.g. infection, allergen, stress)
- Does this person have an unmet individual need, that if replaced, would lead to nature’s tendency toward healing? (e.g. nutrients, vitamins, sleep, restoration)
This post will focus on the second question. Although we prefer to replace vital nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants with foods, sometimes supplementation is necessary to meet an individual’s needs. When we provide supplements, we do just that: supplement the body’s normal tendency toward healing. Not all supplements are right for everyone and a customized approach is always best. But there are some supplements that in general work well for certain health conditions.
For eczema, there are general supplements both shown to improve the symptoms of eczema and address root causes of the condition by correcting deficiency. Since eczema is often related to a sensitive immune system and inflammation found in the skin, we can start at the source. This is usually the lining of the gut, where 70% of our immune system lies.
Supplements that help heal the lining of the gut are often personalized, but important nutrients include the amino acid glutamine (which is the main fuel source of the intestinal cells), zinc, and vitamin A and D.
Vitamin A and Vitamin D also help regulate the immune system and are involved in both tolerance and immunity. We want to have tolerance to the things that our gut comes into contact with: food and other environmental chemicals, so that these daily exposures don’t send our immune system into overdrive, and thus worsening eczema.
ILW recommends: The Truth about Vitamin D and Eczema.
It’s important to check with your doctor on dosing and interactions, especially if using for children because the dosing will be different from what is on the bottle. And not all of these supplements are right for everyone.
ILW recommends: Fish Oil for Eczema in Children: The Research
GLAs have been shown to also improve the skin barrier and inhibit inflammatory chemicals, but only after having adequate Omega 3 supplementation.
As always, try to do as much healing as you can from food before supplements. Collagen support and bone broth are both great options for healing the gut and offer anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important to note that healing the gut through an eczema diet is also a great first step in healing your eczema naturally and long-term.
Bio: Erica Armstrong, MD, functional medicine specialist and founder of Root Functional Medicine.