No one wants dry, itchy, red skin. Eczema is a long-term condition that doesn't have a cure. There are just ways to more or less alleviate symptoms.
There are many over-the-counter medications as well as various creams to help reduce the inflammation caused by eczema.
But how about avocados?
We know they are healthy and contain many nutrients that are good for you.
Some people with eczema have reported a reduction in their symptoms by including or reducing certain foods into their diet, like avocado.
How about avocado oil? Could that be a solution? Does it matter if you eat it or put it directly on your skin?
Some say that regular use of avocado oil could be key to relieving your eczema symptoms. Because of the nutrients it contains. Many eczema sufferers use avocado oil.
But there are also testimonies from people that avocado can make your eczema worse.
In this article we go through the research. What is true and what is not when it comes to avocado and eczema? Can it work?
You should always consult your physician or health care provider if you're about to make changes to your diet that might affect any diagnosis you have.
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Benefits Of Eating Avocado When Having Eczema
I think no one has escaped hearing about how nutrient dense and healthy avocados are. But when it comes to eczema, is there really anyone who talks about avocado?
Still there is evidence that points in the direction that avocado (or even better avocado oil) might help alleviate symptoms when having eczema.
Avocado has shown the ability to improve the quality of your skin and your overall health.
There are studies that show that avocado can aid in the healing of atopic eczema.
One study with 700 participants ◳ showed that a high intake of fat, including the fatty acids that avocado contains, was associated with increased elasticity in the skin.
Elasticity in the skin is important to uphold when you have eczema. Many use different skin creams to alleviate symptoms. Even avocado oil has shown to be beneficial in this area. Further down in this article, we have written about how avocado oil can be helpful when treating eczema.
Another benefit of avocado is that there are some findings indicating that the fats in avocado can protect against sun damage and wrinkles.
Avocado contains vitamin E
Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E, a nutrient which, in addition to strengthening the vein walls and supporting the immune system, can also act as a potent antioxidant.
When it comes to eczema, there is some evidence to suggest that vitamin E supplements could help to ease eczema symptoms.
One study suggests that vitamin E can improve the symptoms ◳ and the quality of life in people with atopic dermatitis eczema. As vitamin E has no side effects when taken within limits, the researchers of the study recommended vitamin E as treatment of atopic dermatitis eczema.
Avocado contain good essential fatty acids
Avocados contain essential fatty acids. It can help to maintain the structure of your skin and its barrier function.
This is extremely important for eczema-prone skin, where the barrier function is often impaired, allowing pathogens and toxins easier access to the body.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids of the skin is one factor suspected of playing a role in eczema.
When Avocado Could Trigger Eczema Flare Ups
Although avocados seem to be one of the healthiest things you can eat, containing nutrients that are recommended when having eczema. There is another side of the coin.
Like with everything, we are all individuals and avocados won't work for everyone.
Unfortunately you can find testimonials from people saying they get worse symptoms from consuming avocado when having eczema. There are even people that are allergic to avocados.
Some people say that their eczema symptoms get worse and more itchy when they consume avocado. So what truth lies in that statement?
Avocados do contains some amounts of amines and itch-promoting salicylates ◳, which in the worst case can worsen eczema symptoms.
Salicylates are a natural pesticide chemical produced by plants to protect themselves against disease, bacteria, fungi and insects.
Some claim that about 50% of people with eczema have a worsening of eczema when they consume salicylates, but we've not found any studies to prove or disprove that claim.
You can be allergic to avocados. One of the symptoms is skin rashes. If you have eczema-prone skin, you can make it worse if you're also sensitive to avocado.
If you want to know more about the two different allergies avocado can give, I recommend you to go to Can You Be Allergic To Avocado?
There is also an allergy that can be triggered when you just come in contact with avocado. It's called allergic contact dermatitis. A rash develops after your skin comes into direct contact with avocado or avocado by-products. The rash causes skin redness, inflammation, swelling, itching and general irritation, just like an eczema.
If this happens or you know you are allergic to avocado, you should of course stay away from them.
Luckily when it comes to avocado, allergies are not that common.
Avocado Oil For Eczema
Avocado oil has shown to be beneficial to aid some eczema. But also aid people with psoriasis ◳, which is a skin condition similar to eczema with raised red, itchy or hurting patches on your body.
In most cases, avocado oil reduces the symptoms of eczema. But in some sensitive people, it can trigger more inflammation, just like consuming avocado.
Why avocado oil might work
Avocado oil is anti-inflammatory and often works great to relieve skin problems such as rashes, sores, eczema, psoriasis, and sun-damaged skin.
Thanks to the fact that the oil is antibacterial, it can help soothe and heal the skin. While nutrients in the avocado oil help to build healthy new skin again.
There are two smaller studies ◳ with side-by-side trials which suggest that a topical preparation of 0.07% vitamin B12 based on avocado oil has a beneficial effect on atopic eczema as compared to placebo.
Avocado oil extracted from the pulp is rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and oleic acid. It also contains sitosterol and carotene. All of these are excellent sources of enrichment for dry, damaged, or chapped skin.
If you are interested in knowing more about avocado oil (not just for eczema) you can read our article What Is Avocado Oil Good For? that brings up many aspects of avocado oil.
What are the benefits of avocado oil for skin?
Avocado oil works in parallel with the natural oils of your skin to cleanse, clean, and nourish. You can apply avocado oil directly to your skin or mix it with your favorite beauty products.
This is what avocado oil might do for your skin
- Calm itchy skin
- Provides rich hydration
- Heal chapped skin
- Accelerates wound healing
- Promotes collagen production
- Protect against skin damage
How to apply avocado oil to my eczema?
Avocado oil is anti-inflammatory. Use cold-pressed and unrefined avocado oil. The cold-pressed avocado oil has all the nutrients intact because heating the oil destroys the nutrients.
- Rinse your affected skin with water and dab it dry
- Apply avocado oil with your fingertips in smooth circular movements
- Leave it for about 15 minutes
- Rinse off with warm water
The oil will keep your skin moisturized for long without giving it that oily feel as the oil gets absorbed by the skin quickly.
Can I Make Avocado Oil Myself?
Of course you can make your own avocado oil! Here you have step-by-step instructions on how you can go about making your own avocado oil.
1. Wash and peel five or six avocados. Discard the pit, and with a spoon scoop out the flesh of the fruit.
2. Mash the avocados into a smooth paste. You can use a hand masher or blender/food processor for this.
3. Spread the mashed paste on a tray or any flat surface as thin as possible and allow it to dry.
4. After 10 hours of air-drying the avocado paste, the upper layer is turning from light green to a dark green, while the under layer is still bright as before. Mix it around and spread it out again. Repeat this several times, with a few hours in between.
5. Once all the water has dried out of the avocado, the paste should have a dark brown color.
6. Now you need to scoop the paste into a cheesecloth and squeeze the mixture over a bowl.
7. Before you store the oil, strain it once more when decanting it into a sterilized glass container.
How to store your avocado oil?
Avocado oil should be stored in an airtight, sterilized jar or bottle. Preferably made out of glass,
Avocado oil is a raw oil, but it does not need to be refrigerated. Keep the oil at a consistent temperature and out of direct sunlight.
Avocado oil is shelf stable and should last for many months, even up to a year, when stored in an airtight container away from direct heat and sunlight.
Is There Differences In The Moisture Of Different Avocado types?
There are differences in the moisture of different avocados, but the moisture also goes down during the season when the avocado is growing. They are the most moist in the beginning.
The most common avocado that we buy is Hass. According to a study from South Africa called The significance of oil and moisture as maturity parameters for avocado ◳, they concluded that Hass avocado has a natural growing span from May to August, while in May is where you should buy it to get the best moisture out of your avocado.
Is There An Alternative Oil To Avocado That I Can Use On My Eczema?
There are a few alternative that can be used instead of avocado oil:
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer with antimicrobial properties. It can soothe the skin by reducing inflammation, and relieve symptoms such as dryness and itchiness.
Virgin sunflower seed oil, made from cold-pressed organic sunflower seeds, has anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe itchy and inflamed eczema skin, and can improve skin hydration and preserve the integrity of the skin's natural barrier.
Tea tree oil is known for its skin-healing properties and can be effective in the topical treatment of eczema. It has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that may lessen irritation and help reduce itching.
Conclusion: Using Avocado Seems Double-Edged
Avocado oil can act as a natural moisturizer and can relieve itchy and irritated skin, even in cases of eczema or psoriasis.
Unfortunately, when it comes to eczema there is not a simple solution.
Using avocado for eczema seems to be double-edged. It might work, but it might make your eczema worse. It’s a bit of a gamble, but definitely worth it if it works.
Start small and see if you notice any change. As with any product, it’s a good idea to do a patch test on your skin first to rule out any allergies.
I suggest that you be careful if you are trying avocado. Talk to your physician or health care provider if you have any doubts or want to change your diet in a major way.