Probiotics and Eczema
Last week, we talked a bit about potential home remedies for eczema. Many people have found some of these to be very useful in helping to control and reduce their flare-ups. We felt that one of these home remedies, in particular, could use an expanded look. And that remedy is probiotics.
The average person knows probiotics are what is in their morning yogurt. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that exist in the digestive system which help to support your immune system, digest food, and promote general health. Although yogurt is generally the primary way people ingest probiotics, there are a number of other methods.
With regards to eczema, many people have claimed that probiotics have helped them control their eczema better than any other treatment. Others have claimed that it doesn’t help at all and any improvement can be chalked up to the placebo effect. And yet others have said that they are only beneficial to expecting mothers who don’t want to have eczema children. As the science isn’t entirely in yet, we aren’t going to take a side in this fight except to say that it really can’t hurt. Probiotics are good for your health and ingesting more of them won’t do you a bit of harm!
If you do decide to give probiotics a try, what would be the best kind for your eczema? Again, there are conflicting reports from a variety of sources. You may have heard of some of these probiotics. There’s Lactobacillus, that produces hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid that help fight against bad bacteria. There is also Streptococcus thermophiles that helps fight against digestive problems like gas and other gastrointestinal issues. There are millions upon millions more, each performing a beneficial function in your body.
How do you get these healthy bacteria into your body? There are a number of “delivery methods.” The most well-known one is to eat fermented milk products such as… yogurt! If you decide to eat more yogurt, you want to find one that has live, active cultures in it. Since sugar has occasionally been connected to eczema flare-ups, you may want to find one that is also low in sugar. If you wanted a more direct and concentrated blast of probiotics, you could take a look at supplements. If you want to go this route, pick out a multi-strain probiotic supplement. This means that you will get the maximum number of beneficial bacteria into your system. You want to make sure that you get it from a reputable company. Many health food products don’t actually contain what the label says, so check to make sure you have a good brand from a good source. When you receive your probiotics, make sure that you refrigerate them. Probiotics are living things, and will die if you leave them out on the counter at room temperature.
The bottom line is that probiotics may work for you! There is really no reason not to try them. Worst-case scenario, you get to have a delicious breakfast of yogurt and fruit! Remember to pay attention to your known eczema triggers when trying anything new like probiotics. If you know that dairy is a trigger, for example, yogurt and other milk based sources of probiotics should be avoided. But keep alert and you should be just fine!