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Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, presents a unique challenge in healthcare due to its multifactorial nature. With Functional Medicine we are often able to help by identifying and addressing the root causes instead of merely treating the symptoms.

Symptoms of eczema

Eczema typically manifests as patches of

  • Dry, itchy, inflamed skin
  • Mild rashes and redness
  • Severe swelling, blisters, or peeling skin.
  • Sleep disturbances and significant distress


Functional Medicine recognizes that eczema may stem from a variety of root causes.

These can include

  • Food sensitivities or allergies
  • Imbalances in the gut microbiota (dysbiosis)
  • Exposure to environmental allergens
  • Inadequate intake of essential nutrients
  • Chronic or acute stress.

As with most chronic disease, each of these factors can separately and in combination lead to inflammation and immune dysregulation seen in eczema.


While conventional medicine often diagnoses eczema based on physical examination and medical history, a Functional Medicine approach may also include additional tests. These can be food sensitivity tests, comprehensive stool analysis to evaluate gut health, and nutrient analysis to uncover possible deficiencies. Such a comprehensive diagnostic approach allows for a more targeted and personalized treatment plan.

Treatment of Eczema

DMH Functional Medicine’s approach to eczema’s treatment involves a multi-faceted strategy reflecting the results from the work up of each patient.

  • Eliminating potential food allergens or sensitivities and increasing anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce systemic inflammation and improve symptoms.
    • Stop or minimize refined sugars, carbs, processed vegetable seed oils
    • Add whole, real foods that are not produced in factory or contain ingredients that you do not recognize
    • Ensure sufficient protein and healthy fats along with a great variety of vegetables and fruits
  • Improving gut health is often required. This may involve
    • a high-fiber diet, probiotics
    • antimicrobials
    • digestive enzymes
  • Stress can worsen eczema symptoms. Techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or cognitive-behavioral therapy can reduce stress.

A balanced intake of essential micronutrients is critical for skin health and overall immune function.

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids can reduce inflammation and improve the immune system.
  • Probiotics can help restore healthy gut microbiota, which can improve leaky gut, strengthen the immune system and reduce the load on the immune system and the liver.
  • Vitamins D and E: These vitamins are crucial for skin health and immune function and play important roles in the innate immune system. Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant, protecting skin cells from oxidative damage.
  • Herbs can help soothe the symptoms of eczema
  • Topical calendula, chamomile, and witch hazel is soothing and can reduce symptoms through their anti-inflammatory effects.

DMH Functional Medicine provides a wider basis for treatment of eczema rather than just symptom control which is often seen with medications used in conventional medicine. Apart from potentially serious side effects in the long term, steroids only address the symptoms and not the underlying cause.

If you are ready to investigate and treat the underlying cause of your eczema, then it may just be time for you to speak to us. Let’s work together to make life easier for you.