Increasing Your Intake Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Help Alleviate Eczema Symptoms

Do you suffer from eczema breakouts in spite of following your doctor's advice when it comes to avoiding certain skincare products, foods, and clothing materials? Studies suggest that adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet may help further alleviate your itchiness, flaking skin, and other symptoms. Here's a closer look at omega-3 fatty acids, how and why they might help, and how to go about increasing your intake of these vital nutrients.

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a specific type of unsaturated fatty acid. The term "omega-3" simply refers to the location of the double bond in the carbon chain that composes the fatty acid. These fatty acids are essential to many processes in the body and are important components of skin tissues. Many people, especially in the United States, do not consume enough omega-3 fatty acids.

How do omega-3 fatty acids help fight eczema?

Since this is a rather new area of research, scientists do not yet know exactly how these nutrients help alleviate the symptoms of eczema, but they do have some sound theories. These nutrients have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. Since eczema is, in part, an inflammatory condition, scientists surmise that omega-3 fatty acids help suppress its symptoms by preventing the inflammation that causes them. It is also thought that the omega-3 fatty acids may be incorporated into the skin cells themselves, making them more soft and supple and less easily irritated.

How can you increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids?

The easiest and safest way to get more omega-3 fatty acids is to focus on eating foods that are high in these nutrients. Some foods to try include:

  • Chia seeds, which you can easily blend into a smoothie or bake into muffins
  • Walnuts, which make a great salad topper or afternoon snack
  • Cured and canned salmon, which you can add to a sandwich or make into a spread
  • Soybeans, which are delicious when roasted with olive oil and herbs
  • Spinach, which makes the perfect salad base

You may also want to consider taking a fish oil supplement, as these are known to be high in omega-3 fatty acids. Talk to your doctor before taking this or any other supplement, and always follow the dosing instructions on the label.

Eczema is a complex and multifactorial condition. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids alone is not likely to erase your symptoms overnight. However, when combined with other treatment strategies, it is a good way to help reduce your symptoms even further.

For more information and treatment options for eczema, talk with your doctor or visit a treatment center, such as Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center PS.