Can probiotics help heal eczema? Well, the answer isn’t black and white. Read more to find out the benefits of probiotics, where to find them, and how they can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of eczema!
Long story short, our body has a ton of “good” and “bad” bacteria. Probiotics, the “good” bacteria, are considered “good” because they support a healthy digestive system. Don’t confuse probiotics with prebiotics! Prebiotics are dietary fibers that essentially “feed” the probiotics that are in your gut.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are most commonly known for their ability to support gut health, but they have a lot more benefits that are less talked about!
- Balance good bacteria in digestive system
- Reduce the risk and severity of diarrhea
- Improve your immune system
- Reduce severity of some allergies and eczema
Sources of Probiotics
Now that you know how awesome probiotics are for your body, you might be wondering where you can find them! Believe it or not, most people incorporate probiotic foods into their diet without even trying! Some examples of common probiotic foods are:
Probiotics and Eczema
Before you run to the store to grab a probiotic for your eczema, you’ll want to talk with your doctor first! Why you might ask? Not all probiotics are created equal. Different strands of bacteria support the body in different ways. The two most common groups of probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are a ton of different species within each group and each of those species has many different strains. See how complicated it can get? That’s why you should work with your doctor to determine which probiotics are right for your little one.
Prevention and Treatment of Eczema
One study showed that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG was effective in prevention of early atopic disease in children at high risk. Our bodies are super impressive, right?! Another study found that supplementation with probiotic strand L fermentum VRI-003 PCC is beneficial in improving the extent and severity of atopic dermatitis in young children with moderate to severe disease. This study found that infants given a probiotic-supplemented formula had a significant improvement in their eczema in 2 months when compared to the infants getting unsupplemented formula.
All of that being said, probiotics aren’t the absolute answer for eczema. The science is still a little conflicting. This review concluded that there is currently not enough evidence to support the use of pro-, pre- or synbiotics for prevention or treatment of atopic dermatitis in children.
The Take Away
There are a ton of benefits to taking probiotics. Balancing good bacteria in the digestive system, reducing the risk and severity of diarrhea, improving your immune system, and reducing severity of allergies and eczema… just to name a few. Yes, some research points to probiotics as a way to prevent and treat eczema. The bad news? There is conflicting science that says they might not be all that helpful and that more research needs to be done. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a shot! Talk to your doctor and see if probiotics are right for you and your little one.