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Is collagen good for eczema?

We all know collagen is integral for supporting the skin, but what about the gut and how that underlies it all? If you've got skin issues and can't figure out where they've come from, chances are they're related to your gut health!

Whatever age you are, eczema can affect a lot more than just your physical appearance. Otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is defined as chronic itchy, inflamed skin, or skin that is very dry, red and scaly. But the constant itching and scratching can cause mental and social discomfort as well as poor sleep and an impaired quality of life.

The standard medical treatment is to apply emollients together with anti-inflammatory treatments such as topical steroids. If the skin becomes infected then antibiotics may also be prescribed. Sufferers are usually told to avoid the trigger factors, which can mean a restricted diet.

As many parents have worked out, childhood eczema is very often caused by food allergies. Later in life, there can be many triggers that cause flare ups. 

Collagen plays a huge role in strengthening the fragile gut lining, and you might be surprised to find out that this is inextricably linked to skin health

Collagen, eczema and the gut

There is a growing body of research linking eczema with gut health and its thought there are two main reasons for this. Firstly a weaker gut lining, which is only one cell thick and very easily damaged. This means that undigested food particles or other irritants can potentially enter the bloodstream provoking an inflammatory and immune response that may result in an eczema flareup.

Secondly, an imbalance in the colony of microorganisms in the gut (collectively known as the microbiome) is thought to increase the likelihood of skin problems including eczema. 

Several studies have noticed that the microbiomes of eczema sufferers are often different to that of people without eczema. 

Taking a highly absorbable marine collagen supplement can support the integrity of the digestive tract, reducing the likelihood of food irritants being able to pass through into the bloodstreams and provoke the eczema reaction. In turn, a healthier gut lining will support a more commensal population of bacteria and microorganisms in the gut thereby reducing the risk of eczema flare ups.

Discover more about the connection between collagen and the gut here

Collagen, eczema and inflammation

Eczema sufferers tend to have an overactive immune response to either topical or internal irritants. 

In addition, the anti-inflammatory effect of the specific collagen peptides can significantly reduce the production of the problem-causing cytokines and chemokines. Glycine in particular is recognised for its anti-inflammatory and supportive immune system properties.

As 70% of the immune system is based in the gut, supporting the overall gut health and beneficial microorganisms can also help modulate an overactive inflammatory response.

Collagen, eczema and skin hydration

Taking collagen with vitamin C stimulates the body’s own production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which improves skin hydration and locks in moisture from the inside. This in turn can help improve the symptoms of eczema and stimulate skin healing.

References

1. Gut microbiota, probiotics, and their interactions in prevention and treatment of atopic dermatitis: A review

2. Multifarious beneficial effect of nonessential amino acid, glycine: A review

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