The term “eczema”, is a general description of a number of various chronic and persistent skin disorders. Also known as dermatitis, eczema simply means inflammation of the outer layer of the skin. Symptoms of eczema include dry, flaky skin, redness, itching, cracking, oozing and weeping of sores.
There are many different causes of eczema,which differ from person to person. Food and air allergens, chemical irritants, and dry environments have all been linked to eczema flare-ups. But one overlooked trigger is nutritional deficiency, specifically lacking in omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 acids help the body produce anti-inflammatory hormones. If the body lacks this nutrient, any chronic inflammatory condition may emerge–not only eczema, but also asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and heart disease. Severe deficiency of omega fatty acids may also lead to an impaired immune system, which can further exacerbate any chronic inflammatory disorders.
The best source omega-3 fatty acid is fish. But if you have a seafood allergy, or simply concerned with mercury levels in seafood, flaxseed is a great alternative. Flaxseed is packed with both omega-6 and omega-3 acids, and may be taken both internally and externally. This healthy seed can be eaten as a snack or sprinkled on other foods. Alternatively, flaxseed oil can be ingested as well.
Flaxseed is not a quick fix, however. It may actually take a period of time of ingesting flaxseed before gaining and noticeable results. But when the oil is applied topically to the skin, it can immediately alleviate and soothe dry, itchy rashes. With prolonged treatment, flaxseed can help restore the skin’s suppleness and elasticity.
Even though flaxseed is natural and relatively harmless, you may want to consult with a physician or health care practitioner before adding it to your eczema treatment regimen. A health care professional can advise dosage amounts and make sure that the flaxseed will not interact with any medications you are taking.