17 August, 2011
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Carrot Juice and Eczema
Eczema is a chronic disease characterized by red, swollen, itchy skin. Your symptoms can also appear as blisters that turn into scaly rashes or thick, dry skin patches with scales. You can't "catch" eczema, but it is a common condition, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, affecting over 15 million Americans. Medications and lifestyle steps, including eating an appropriate diet, can help minimize your symptoms. Carrot juice offers numerous benefits for eczema-affected skin. For best results, seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian.
One cause of eczema is a vitamin A deficiency, according to Dr. Paul Barney in the "Doctor's Guide to Natural Medicine." Consuming foods rich in vitamin A can help prevent eczema symptoms related to a deficiency. Drinking 4 oz. of carrot juice will provide you with 22,567 international units, or IU, of vitamin A, which fulfills 450 percent of the daily recommended intake for adults.
Carrot juice may also help restore healthy skin tissue during and following eczema flareups. Because of its effectiveness in supporting skin health and tissue repair, medications that replicate vitamin A compounds called retinoids have been prescribed for skin disorders since the late 1990s, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. While high doses of retinoid medications can be toxic, you can consume foods rich in vitamin A, including carrot juice, without the same risks.
Trigger Food Alternative
Although it remains unclear how significant food sensitivities and allergies are among eczema sufferers, various foods have been linked to making the symptoms worse. Common problem foods include dairy products, eggs, soybeans, wheat, seafood, chocolate, food coloring and fruit with seeds, according to Eczema Guide, a website created by Skin Care Guide, a resources network created by dermatologists. Carrots, which are also rich in vitamin A, provide a nutritious alternative to seed-containing fruits, such as apples, bananas, kiwis, oranges and pears. Carrot juice provides a nutritious alternative to apple, pear and orange juice, and it offers a natural, colorful, sweet-tasting alternative to artificially colored foods, such as jelly beans and popsicles.
For improved eczema symptoms, the "Doctor's Guide to Natural Medicine" recommends consuming 10,000 IU of vitamin A per day -- the amount found in less than 1/4 cup of carrot juice or about 1/3 cup of boiled, sliced carrots. An overall nutritious diet can help reduce inflammation. Optimum foods include nuts and seeds; cold-water fish, such as salmon, halibut and mackerel; whole grains; and vegetables and fresh fruits, unless you have a sensitivity.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Eczema
- "Doctor's Guide to Natural Medicine"; Paul Barney; 1998
- Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health: Vitamin A and Carotenoids
- Eczema Guide: Foods, Nutrition and Eczema - Is There a Link?
- merc67/iStock/Getty Images