Is eczema related to gut health?

Eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common, chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin disease that presents in varied ways. While it has genetic factors, it often flares with environmental triggers. Conventional treatment options have variable effectiveness and more holistic approaches are worth exploring.

It is always important to consider the gut health, the microbiome and environmental factors in eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) cases. 

Principal factors that aggravate eczema include:

  • Alteration of microbiome
  • Skin barrier disruption (inside the gut or outside on the surface of the body)
  • Dysregulation of cytokines (immune system disruption)
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Exposure to environmental allergens
  • Exposure to food allergens
  • Temperature changes; sun and sweat or dry and cold
  • Clothing with irritating fibres
  • Water pH
  • Household and personal cleaning products
  • Alcohol
  • Smoke

The early development and later, balance of the the microbiome is a key part of health  not only in digestion but in skin (atopic) disease. Maternal stress, various digestive supplements, and gestational diabetes, antibiotics, and breastfeeding all play a role. Dr. Laura may choose to help you with a comprehensive stool analysis like the to specifically evaluate the health of the microbiome to individualize your course of treatment.

Often we see wheat, milk/dairy protein sensitivities linked asthma and eczema. Dr. Laura may suggest food sensitivity testing analysis  to help identify or confirm suspected triggers.

Long term aggravation or inflammation in the gut can lead to damage on the skin within you too- your digestive tract takes a direct hit. Healing the gut lining is also an important step in calming the skin on the outside so as to reduce the flares of AD. Dr. Laura and uses her experience to help you find the best way for you to heal from a leaky gut.

Stress management, hormone balance and inflammation reduction and both key to good health all around and healing eczema. Nutrition, sleep, exercise, and investigation and treatment of chronic fungal, mold, bacterial or viral inflammation are all part of a functional medicine approach to a vibrant life and glowing skin.


Girolomoni, G., & Busà, V. M. (2022). Flare management in atopic dermatitis: from definition to treatment. Therapeutic advances in chronic disease13, 20406223211066728.

Narla S, Silverberg JI. The Role of Environmental Exposures in Atopic Dermatitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2020 Oct 12;20(12):74. doi: 10.1007/s11882-020-00971-z. PMID: 33047271.