What Is Your Body Lacking If You Have Eczema?

Imagine waking up every day with itchy, red, and inflamed skin. Eczema, a chronic skin condition, can be incredibly frustrating to deal with. But have you ever wondered what exactly is causing this irritating condition? Believe it or not, your body might be lacking a certain something when it comes to eczema. In this article, we will explore what this elusive element could be and delve into some possible solutions to help you soothe your troubled skin. So sit back, relax, and let’s uncover the missing puzzle piece that could bring you relief from eczema.

What causes eczema?

Eczema is a common skin condition that can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as dryness, itching, and inflammation. While the exact cause of eczema remains unknown, many researchers believe that it is linked to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.


Genetics play a significant role in the development of eczema. If you have close family members who have or had eczema, you are more likely to develop it as well. Certain variations in genes can affect the skin’s ability to retain moisture and protect itself from irritants, leading to eczema symptoms.

Environmental factors

The environment we live in can also contribute to the development of eczema. Exposure to irritants such as harsh chemicals, allergens, and pollutants can trigger or worsen symptoms in individuals who are genetically predisposed to eczema. Additionally, extreme temperatures, dry air, and low humidity levels can disrupt the skin’s barrier function, leading to increased water loss and dryness, which are common characteristics of eczema.


Allergies, particularly to certain foods or substances, can be a trigger for eczema symptoms. Common allergens that may exacerbate eczema include dairy products, eggs, nuts, soy, and gluten. Environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold, can also contribute to eczema flare-ups in susceptible individuals.

Immune system dysfunction

Eczema is often associated with immune system dysfunction. It is believed that individuals with eczema have an overactive immune system that reacts excessively to certain triggers, leading to inflammation and irritation of the skin. This immune system dysfunction can also make individuals with eczema more susceptible to infections and other immune-related conditions.

Essential Nutrients

Ensuring that your body receives the necessary essential nutrients is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and reducing the severity of eczema symptoms. Here are a few key nutrients known to benefit individuals with eczema:

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a vital role in supporting the immune system and maintaining healthy skin. It helps regulate inflammation and can minimize the severity of eczema symptoms. While sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, it can be challenging to get enough exposure, especially during winter or for individuals living in areas with limited sunlight. Therefore, supplementation or consuming vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and mushrooms can be beneficial for individuals with eczema.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage eczema symptoms. These healthy fats can reduce skin inflammation, itching, and dryness. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Alternatively, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil capsules or algae-based supplements, can be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.


Zinc is an essential mineral for maintaining healthy skin and supporting immune function. It aids in wound healing, reduces inflammation, and plays a vital role in the production of collagen, a protein that contributes to skin health. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry, nuts, and seeds. Zinc supplements may also be an option if your diet is deficient in this mineral.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It also promotes skin healing, reduces inflammation, and improves the skin’s overall moisture and elasticity. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados, and vegetable oils. Additionally, vitamin E supplements can be taken for individuals who may have difficulty obtaining enough from their diet.

Healthy Skin Barrier

Maintaining a healthy skin barrier is crucial for individuals with eczema, as a compromised barrier function can result in increased dryness and vulnerability to irritants and allergens. Here are some key components necessary for a healthy skin barrier:


Ceramides are lipids or fats naturally present in the skin that play a vital role in maintaining skin hydration and integrity. They help to strengthen and repair the skin barrier, preventing moisture loss and protecting against irritants. Using skincare products that contain ceramides can help replenish these essential lipids and improve eczema symptoms.


Filaggrin is a protein that is essential for maintaining skin moisture and protection. Certain individuals with eczema have variations in the genes responsible for producing filaggrin, leading to impaired skin barrier function. Supplementing with moisturizers that contain filaggrin or its components can help support proper skin hydration and reduce eczema symptoms.

Natural Fats and Oils

Applying natural fats and oils directly to the skin can help restore moisture and replenish the skin’s natural protective barrier. Examples of beneficial natural fats and oils for eczema include shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil. These oils help lock in moisture, soothe irritation, and reduce dryness.


One of the key elements of maintaining a healthy skin barrier is keeping the skin adequately moisturized. Applying a moisturizer regularly helps restore moisture, strengthen the skin’s barrier function, and reduce dryness and itchiness associated with eczema. It is essential to choose moisturizers that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and formulated specifically for sensitive skin.


Hydrating your body plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and minimizing eczema symptoms. Here are a few key aspects to consider:

Water intake

Staying properly hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help maintain skin hydration and overall health. Water is essential for delivering nutrients to the skin cells and flushing out toxins. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, or more during hot weather or intense physical activity.

Avoiding dehydration

Dehydration can exacerbate eczema symptoms by contributing to dryness and inflammation. To avoid dehydration, limit your consumption of dehydrating beverages such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Additionally, be mindful of your fluid intake during exercise, illness, or in hot and dry environments, and make sure to replenish lost fluids to keep your body properly hydrated.

Proper Immune Function

A well-functioning immune system is crucial for managing eczema symptoms. Several nutrients play a significant role in supporting immune function and reducing inflammation related to eczema:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports immune function and acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also aids in collagen production, which promotes healthy skin. Incorporating vitamin C-rich foods into your diet, such as citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, and leafy greens, can help support immune function and potentially alleviate eczema symptoms.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for maintaining healthy skin and a robust immune system. It promotes skin cell turnover, helps repair damaged skin, and supports the immune response. Good sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and liver. If necessary, vitamin A supplements can be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help strengthen the immune system and improve gut health. They enhance the balance of good bacteria in the gut, which can positively influence the immune system’s response. Probiotics can be found in certain fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or taken as a dietary supplement.

Inflammatory Response

Inflammation is a significant contributor to eczema symptoms. Including certain nutrients in your diet that possess anti-inflammatory properties can help alleviate inflammation and reduce eczema flare-ups:


Antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and promote inflammation. Foods rich in antioxidants include fruits, vegetables (especially those with vibrant colors like berries, spinach, kale, and tomatoes), nuts, and seeds. Consuming a variety of antioxidant-rich foods can help combat inflammation and support overall skin health.


Polyphenols are a group of plant compounds that possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They can help reduce inflammation and protect the skin from oxidative damage. Green tea, dark chocolate, berries, and colorful fruits and vegetables are good sources of polyphenols. Including these foods in your diet can help modulate the inflammatory response and potentially improve eczema symptoms.

Gut Health

The health of your gut can significantly impact your overall well-being, including the management of eczema symptoms. Several factors related to gut health are worth considering:


Dietary fiber acts as a prebiotic, fueling the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and promoting overall gut health. Increasing fiber intake by consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts can support a diverse and balanced gut microbiome, potentially reducing inflammation in the body and improving eczema symptoms.


As mentioned earlier, probiotics can help improve gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and modulating the immune response. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements can help restore the balance of gut bacteria and potentially alleviate eczema symptoms.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food. Some individuals with eczema may have impaired digestion, which can impact nutrient absorption and contribute to inflammation. Including foods rich in digestive enzymes, such as pineapple and papaya, or taking digestive enzyme supplements may support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.

Reducing Stress

Stress can trigger or exacerbate eczema symptoms in many individuals. By implementing effective stress management techniques, you can potentially reduce the frequency and intensity of eczema flare-ups. Here’s a key factor to consider:


Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can contribute to inflammation and worsen eczema symptoms. Engaging in activities that help manage stress, such as regular exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and getting enough sleep, can help lower cortisol levels and promote overall well-being.

Relaxation Techniques

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can offer significant benefits for managing stress and, consequently, eczema symptoms. Practices such as yoga, tai chi, aromatherapy, and listening to calming music can help relax your body and mind, reducing stress levels and potentially minimizing eczema flare-ups.

Avoiding Irritants

To prevent eczema flare-ups, it is important to avoid potential irritants that can trigger or worsen symptoms. Some common irritants to be mindful of include:


Exposure to chemicals found in household cleaning products, detergents, or certain skincare products can irritate the skin and potentially worsen eczema symptoms. Opting for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and gentle alternatives can help minimize skin irritation and reduce the risk of flare-ups.

Harsh Soaps

Using harsh soaps or cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils and disrupt the skin barrier, leading to increased dryness and irritation in individuals with eczema. Choosing mild, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic soaps or cleansers can help maintain the skin’s natural balance and prevent aggravating symptoms.


Fragrances, whether in skincare products, perfumes, or household items, can contain allergens that can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms in sensitive individuals. Opting for fragrance-free products or those labeled as hypoallergenic can help minimize the risk of skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Allergen Avoidance

Identifying and avoiding allergens can be beneficial for individuals with eczema, as exposure to specific allergens can trigger or exacerbate symptoms. Here are two key aspects to consider regarding allergen avoidance:

Food allergies

Food allergies, particularly to common triggers such as dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, and gluten, can contribute to eczema flare-ups in susceptible individuals. If you suspect that certain foods may be triggering your eczema, consider working with a healthcare professional to conduct an allergy test or an elimination diet to identify and avoid potential food triggers.

Environmental allergens

Environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold, can also aggravate eczema symptoms. Minimizing exposure to these allergens can be challenging, but implementing strategies like using allergen-proof bedding, regular cleaning, and vacuuming, and keeping pets out of the bedroom can help reduce exposure and potentially alleviate eczema symptoms.

In conclusion, eczema is a complex condition influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. While its exact cause remains unclear, understanding the potential triggers and implementing lifestyle modifications that support healthy skin, a robust immune system, and overall well-being can help manage and minimize eczema symptoms. By incorporating essential nutrients, maintaining a healthy skin barrier, staying hydrated, supporting proper immune function, managing inflammation, promoting gut health, reducing stress, avoiding irritants, and identifying and avoiding allergens, individuals with eczema can take proactive steps towards achieving healthier skin and a better quality of life.