What foods can have a positive influence on eczema (and vitiligo)?
Eat plenty of:
- Legumes, brown rice, wheat germ and other foods high in vitamin B6.
- Foods that trigger or worsen eczema, spicy foods, alcohol, smoking etc.
- External causes such as wearing wool clothing next to the skin
Eczema is an itchy, scaly rash often caused by sensitivity to foods, chemicals, and other triggers. The rash of eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is not always a true allergic reaction, but as in an allergy, the immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance. The symptoms of sensitivity vary from one person to another and can appear anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after exposure to the offending food or substance. Eczema runs in families, often along with a tendency to develop asthma, hay fever or hives.
Eczema and the role of a diet
Certain foods trigger eczema in some people. Common culprits include eggs, dairy products, seafood, walnuts, and pecans. A food diary may help to pinpoint the offending food types. Cow’s milk can cause eczema in babies and small children; they may be able to tolerate goat’s milk or soy based products. This requires trials. Many children outgrow their sensitivities by the age of 6, but others have lifelong recurrences.
Besides using long term safe medications such as Bio-Force® products there are researchers who believe that a diet rich in vitamin B6 offers some protection against sensitivity rashes. Good sources for vitamin B6 include f.i. vegetable oil, eggs, oily fish, legumes, brown rice, wheat germ and leafy green vegetables. In an experimental study, patients found that their eczema symptoms improved when they took regular supplements of evening primrose oil, which is rich in gamma linolenic acid. These results have not been confirmed in large numbers of people, so these and other vitamin and mineral supplements are not medically approved eczema treatments.
Environmental Triggers and Eczema
Chemical in the environment probably trigger eczema more often than foods do. Common offenders include nickel, which is often used to make costume jewelry, and latex, which is used in household and industrial rubber gloves and many other products. People in certain jobs are high risk for developing eczema. Acrylic adhesives are a hazard for manicurists and their clients, for dental technicians, and for people whose hobby is model building. Athletes and others who favor casual footwear sometimes suffer from skin rashes on the feet caused by adhesives used in bonding sneakers. Buying another brand of sneaker, may solve the problem. Woolen clothing worn next to the skin can cause a rash. Those who are sensitive to wool should also try to avoid skin-care products based on lanolin, the natural oil that occurs in wool. It makes sense to avoid known triggers. If your rash is worse in either hot or very cold weather, avoid extremes of temperature. Buy only soaps, detergents, and toilet papers that are free of dyes and perfumes. Bio-Force® products and soaps are a safe, natural, and long term solution to this problem.
See also: What is eczema? and The best treatment for eczema
Every cell in the body needs protein for growth and repair. Protein also plays a major role in digestion, immunity and other body functions.
Protein consists of amino acids and constitutes about 15% of the human body weight. Protein is of critical importance in the structure and function of cells. Recently the use of proteins has been broadened to skin care since many skin problems such as chapping and dryness appear to be associated with damage to or actual loss of skin protein. Proteins are not the number one nutrient in our diet, at least it should not be…. In an ideal balanced diet, only 10 to 12 percent of the daily required calories should come from protein. A normal adult needs 0.36 of protein per pound of body weight.
Thus, a person weighing 140 pounds requires 50g, or slightly less than 2 ounces, of protein per day.
The typical American or Western diet provides much more protein than the human body actually needs. This does not pose a serious threat for healthy persons, but too much protein adds to the workload of the kidneys and the liver. Thus, people with diseases affecting these organs should be on a low protein diet. Psoriasis is for instance related also to liver dysfunction which is elevated by the rich protein foods and the use of medications, such as corticosteroids etc. Corticosteroids may be prescribed by your dermatologist to control the psoriasis but that can increase the cause of side effects. On the down side, meat and other high-protein animal foods come with large amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, which is also eliminated through the bile system, substances that promote atherosclerosis, heart disease and obesity. Even well-trimmed lean beef derives half of its calories from fat.
Obesity, or being big, which is usually associated with large body shapes with many skin folds etc., also make it more difficult to treat a skin disease, the areas are larger and…..it adds again to strain the liver etc. Be sensible with your food, do not over eat, eat healthy.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. Every living cell in the body contains protein and cannot function properly without it. Approximately 80 amino acids are found in nature; only twenty are necessary for the human metabolism. Some must be supplied by food and are “essential”. Amino acids are rapidly absorbed in the blood stream, and in combination with vitamins, provide essential nutrients and promote healing.
Benefits of proteins:
- Used to maintain and repair all body cells
- Necessary to make antibodies enzymes, and hormones
- When needed, protein is converted to glucose for energy.
- Disadvantages of (too much) proteins and amino acids:
- Protein-rich meats and other animal products are often high in fat and cholesterol.
- Excessive intake of proteins strains the kidneys and the liver.
- Excessive protein and amino acid supplements increase the excretion of calcium and other minerals.
Vitamins are essential for normal growth and contribute to the natural moisturizing factor. The skin is often the first indication of a vitamin deficiency that can cause dry skin. Certain vitamins figure prominently in the treatment of psoriasis. Specifically, Vitamin A, B6, C, D and Vitamin E.
Vitiligo, Vitamins, and Minerals…
Are vitamins and minerals important in the treatment of vitiligo? The answer to this question is: yes, they are. Given the fact that a significant number of people with vitiligo show low levels of vitamin C, vitamin B12, and Folic Acid, and considering the importance of these and other vitamins, a supplement that includes the main vitamins and minerals is recommend. This is a helpful complement for Vitiligo treatment. In general a nutritious, well-balance diet is helpful and offers many long-term benefits. Please read the following information to better understand the importance of vitamins and minerals in the treatment of vitiligo.
Vitamin A keeps epithelial tissues (the skin and lining of various organs) healthy, and is necessary for the development of cells into their specialized forms (ex. melanocytes). Vitamin A also plays a role in maintaining the immune system.
Vitamin C helps strengthen the body’s defense system.
It plays a vital role in the formation of collagen (connective tissue) which is necessary to keep your bones, teeth and skin healthy. It is part of the antioxidant trio (which includes vitamin E and beta-carotene) which helps to neutralize highly reactive substances called free radicals, which are known to cause damage to melanocytes.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and protects molecules and cell membranes in the human body against the destructive effects of oxygen-containing free radicals. It plays a key role in the functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin B12 is known as the vitamin that prevents pernicious anaemia. This deficiency is associated to Vitiligo in some cases. The same can be said about Folic Acid.
Zinc is a component of many enzymes some of them related to the normal function of the immune system; and is involved in the metabolism of certain vitamins.
Copper is involved in the synthesis of connective tissue in the skeleton and blood vessels, it plays a role in the functioning of the immune system. It’s important for the pigmentation of skin, hair and eyes. It takes part in the process of repigmentation. It is also an antioxidant. Individuals with certain metabolic diseases, like Wilson’s disease, should not take supplements that contain cooper.