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The term ‘eczema’ covers a wide range of skin problems from dermatitis to mild psoriasis and usually involves a ‘rash’ with one or more of the following symptoms: localised reddening, itching, dry patches, flaking skin, weeping sores, the latter generally resulting from scratching and possible secondary infection.

Most ‘eczema’ is the result of auto-immune disorders, although fungal infections may play a role. In adults, rashes identified as eczema my be triggered by exposure of the skin to chemical or other irritants in the home or at work. In addition, as we age, our skin becomes drier and thinner, and this can contribute to eczema-like symptoms in old age.

Researchers have discovered that many forms of eczema may be linked to a deficiency of GLA. Trials with GLA supplementation have demonstrated a strongly positive effect. In 1997, researchers at the University of Italy conducted a 12-week study in which patients receiving borage oil experienced significant improvement in all their skin symptoms. By the end of the study itching decreased about 90%, vesicle formation (blistering) decreased more than 40%, and erythema (patchy redness of the skin) and oozing of wounds showed similar improvements.

Case studies indicate that supplementation with borage oil may also improve symptoms of psoriasis.

Recommended use: Supplement the diet with 2 to 3 grams of borage oil per day, with an equal quantity of flax oil and/or fish oil to ensure that the omega-3:omega-6 ratio does not become too imbalanced. In addition, apply the oil topically directly to affected areas. Improvements in symptoms usually begin during the first three or four weeks and improvement may continue for months. Maintenance supplementation should continue indefinitely at a lower dosage of around a gram per day.





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