Hydration is absolutely key to managing eczema, so drinking plenty of water seems like a great way of supporting your body to fight eczema, right?
At a basic level, that’s true: your body needs to be as healthy as possible when it’s dealing with the effects of a compromised skin barrier. It needs nutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to maintain the immune system and battle eczema, so eating leafy, green, nutritious food and cutting out the junk is an excellent start.
And drinking water is a key part of keeping yourself healthy and strong, helping the liver to flush out toxins and supplying the whole body with the moisture it needs. Water you drink does eventually work to hydrate skin cells, via the stomach and liver, but all cells also get the moisture they need from other sources, like fresh fruit, vegetables and other things you eat and drink.
The truth is that there are more effective ways of keeping your skin hydrated than drinking lots of water. Eczema is an issue with the skin barrier function, with dehydrated cells meaning that the barrier against moisture loss and irritants isn’t working as well as it should. Finding more direct and immediate ways to lock moisture into the skin is essential.
So regular application of emollients, avoiding dehydrating environments (ie aircon, central heating, wind, hot baths) and dehydrating/irritating substances (ie soap, detergents, synthetic ingredients), and keeping yourself generally healthy is even more useful in the fight against eczema than getting your eight glasses of water a day.