Do you suffer from eczema or psoriasis? Whilst some eczema and psoriasis sufferers can experience symptoms all year round for others they notice flare-ups particularly in the winter. I'm here to share my top 5 nutrition tips on how to control your eczema and psoriasis. Please be aware that these aren't necessarily going to cure you, but they may help to control and reduce your symptoms. Should you experience prolonged suffering of eczema and psoriasis you may need to contact a doctor or nutritionist.
1. Fish Oils: Research has shown that a combination of EPA and DHA fish oil supplements can reduce inflammation and improve psoriasis conditions. Be warned some people experience nausea, diarrhea and are left with a fishy after-taste. This can be dose dependant though so I recommend speaking to a nutritionist to find a dose which is suitable for you. I recommend consuming 2 portions of oily fish a week. Fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are great sources of omega-3.
2. Vitamin D: The majority of us living in the UK are vitamin D deficient due to our lack of sunlight exposure. However, some reseach has shown that Vitamin D improved symptoms in 50% of subjects. However, the doses in the study were high and the jury is still out. High levels of vitamin D over a long period of time can lead to; kidney stones and excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). I recommend consuming more foods rich in vitamin D; eggs, salmon and shitake mushrooms are some of thew few food sources.
3. Reduce Histadine/ Histamine Intake: Histamine can block DAO which is the enzyme required to break down histamine. An excess of histamine can stimulate allergy like symptoms including eczema, however you may also be producing excess histamine in the body. If you suffer from eczema and psoriasis I recommend reducing your intake of exogenous histamines. Alcohol, fermented foods, canned foods and mature cheese are all high in histamine.
4. Probiotics: Probiotics are popping up everywhere at the moment. However, it is essential that we maintain healthy bacteria within the gut. A healthy gut can help to enhance your immune system which can reduce your susceptability to allergens (often manifested as skin disorders).
5. Gluten: Some research has shown a strong relationship between gluten intolerance and coeliac disease and psoriasis. Whilst this is not always the case if you've been struggling for a while it might be worth going to your doctor or a nutritionist to have a test.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you if you or a friend/ relative suffers from eczema or psoriasis however, should you experience long-term symptoms I recommend visiting a nutritionist for more personalised help.
Al-Ghazzewi, F. H., & Tester, R. F. (2014). Impact of prebiotics and probiotics on skin health. Beneficial microbes, 5(2), 99-107.
McCusker, M., & Sidbury, R. (2016). Nutrition and skin: Kids are not just little people. Clinics in dermatology, 34(6), 698-709.
Choudhary, S., Pandey, A., Khan, M. K., Khan, S., Rustagi, S., & Thomas, G. (2016). Psoriasis: Role of dietary management in diminution of its symptoms. BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS, 9(3), 391-398.
Millsop, J. W., Bhatia, B. K., Debbaneh, M., Koo, J., & Liao, W. (2014). Diet and psoriasis, part III: role of nutritional supplements. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71(3), 561-569.