As for 2023, there is no cure for eczema, yet some therapeutic options may help to ease the discomfort. Some people may wonder if probiotics may be beneficial, while the research reports no effectiveness.
Still, probiotics are generally good for health and may also help people with eczema to support the immune system and skin health.
However, it’s worth noting that the evidence is extremely limited for probiotics as a treatment for eczema. Thus, this article focuses on the general effects of probiotics on the immune system and gut health, which may also have some beneficial results on eczema management.
Best probiotics for eczema treatment: shortlist
- HUM — best probiotics for eczema and acne management
- Clear Wellness 360 — best probiotics for eczema
- Seed — best synbiotic formula for eczema
- PAUME — best probiotic cream for eczema
- Mindbodygreen — best synbiotic topical for eczema
How to choose the best probiotic for eczema treatment?
To help you find high-quality probiotics that could nourish your gut and help with eczema management, we considered the following criteria.
|Manufacturing, ingredients, and testing
|Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
|Capsules and creams
|Price per serving
- Safety. We selected the probiotic supplements that have been made in cGMP-certified manufacturing sites and examined by third-party testing to ensure the absence of contaminants. We chose products containing no gluten, soy, or high amounts of added sugars, which might worsen eczema flare-ups.
- Probiotic strains. As for now, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are the most studied and observed to provide some general benefits for eczema by improving the immune system, skin, and gut health.
- Probiotic form. We have considered probiotic capsules and creams. These forms may be preferred as gummies or powders may contain added sugar, which some people with eczema try to avoid.
- Price per serving. The price per serving is calculated based on the price range of the products on our list of best probiotics and gives a sneak peek at how much you will spend on your daily probiotics supplementation.
Best probiotics for eczema treatment: overview
Before delving into the reviews of the best products, it’s worth noting that probiotics’ use is not a proven treatment method for eczema in adults. People with eczema should consider a doctor’s consultation for addressing this condition with proven medications or therapy.
However, if you are looking for the best probiotics for eczema treatment to enhance your general immune and gut health, we provide a comprehensive list of the 5 top-rated supplement brands on the market.
1. HUM — best probiotics for eczema and acne management
HUM Skin Squad synbiotic supplement has been developed with clinically tested probiotic strains shown effective for skin, immune, and digestive health. As the provider claims, this probiotic supplement may reduce non-cystic acne severity, as well as increase skin hydration.
Moisturized skin may be beneficial in easing some eczema symptoms, such as itchiness and skin dryness.
The manufacturer of HUM Skin Squad included 9 strains of probiotic bacteria in its supplement. With 2 daily capsules, you will receive 20 billion CFU. The prebiotic used to fuel probiotics to thrive in the gut is acquired from konjac root extract.
Note that the total 40 billion CFU count mentioned on the bottle is at the time of manufacturing, and the amount may decrease through the expiration date.
One bottle of HUM Skin Squad costs $40.00 ($1.33 per serving).
2. Clear Wellness 360 — best probiotics for eczema in adults
Clear Wellness 360 is a trusted USA-based manufacturer offering Clear Lip & Skin Health probiotic supplements designed to prevent skin outbreaks, cold sores, and smoother skin.
Clean Lip & Skin Health contains 12 billion CFU from L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus probiotic strains. These two strains may help reduce skin irritation, improve gut health, and minimize the risk of diarrhea after antibiotics course for eczema.
This is a synbiotic formula with prebiotics that work hand-in-hand with probiotics supporting gut and skin health. Apart from this, the manufacturer added vitamin C and L-lysine to the capsules — two ingredients known to boost collagen production and accelerate wound healing.
The probiotic product comes in delayed-release capsules to deliver the ingredients to the gut. They don’t contain major allergens that would exacerbate eczema symptoms.
One Clear Lip & Skin Health probiotic bottle costs $39.00 ($1.30 per serving).
3. Seed — best synbiotic formula for eczema
Seed DS-01® synbiotic may help address dermal and gut health, as well as reduce inflammation due to the addition of prebiotics obtained from Indian pomegranates known for their potent antioxidant effects — a desired property that may address eczema flare-ups.
To specifically address skin health, the manufacturers of DS-01® added a probiotic blend of 3.30 billion AFU from L. salivarius, L. casei, B. lactis, and B. longum. All in all, this supplement holds 53.6 billion AFU from 13 probiotic strains.
The manufacturer used AFU (active fluorescent units), which is considered a more reliable method of counting live bacteria. The ingredients are coated within two capsule shells to protect the supplement's contents against temperature changes and moisture and keep them intact while traveling through stomach acids.
The company sticks to sustainability measures by delivering its probiotics in recyclable packaging along with a refillable glass container.
One month's supply of Seed probiotics for adults costs $49.99 ($1.67 per serving).
4. PAUME — best probiotic cream for eczema and skin moisturizing
If you prefer topical creams for eczema, PAUME hand balm probiotics cream may be the best choice. This is a fast-absorbing skin probiotic balm that may help reduce skin dryness due to eczema. It may also be an ideal help for easing eczema flare-ups, such as cracked and irritated skin, during winter.
One of the main ingredients helping to achieve a moisturized and smoother skin barrier is grape seed oil, which is also rich in vitamin E — suggested to prevent skin inflammation. Lactobacillus ferment lysate is an ingredient derived from probiotics that may maintain hydration and balance bacteria levels on the skin.
PAUME probiotic hand balm comes with a signature scent from lemon, orange, lavender, and other aromatic herbs. The provider mentions no exact CFU/AFU count. Although no serving sizes are mentioned, the 2 oz (60 ml) tube may be enough for 2 months of use.
One tube of PAUME probiotic hand balm costs $24.00.
5. Mindbodygreen — best prebiotic topical cream for eczema
Mindbodygreen incorporates prebiotics with postbiotics in its body lotion to help protect the skin against harmful bacteria. This lotion may help balance your skin's pH levels and reduce the risk of skin inflammation thanks to its antioxidant ingredients.
The postbiotics are obtained from the Lactobacillus probiotic strain. Mindbodygreen body lotion contains prebiotics from Chlorella vulgaris microalgae, known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects.
Mindbodygreen body lotion has 10 ingredients that may help to retain skin hydration. The provider offers the same formula enhanced with neroli, bergamot, and cedarwood fragrances.
Postbiotic body lotion is recommended to be used 1–2 times a day after a shower and on damp skin. People with eczema should talk to their dermatologist before applying this cream on eczema-affected areas to avoid possible allergies and irritation due to fragrances or other ingredients.
One Mindbodygreen postbiotic body lotion tube contains 8 oz (236 ml) cream and costs $30.00.
Comparing the best probiotics for eczema
|Price per serving
|Servings per bottle
|Other ingredients for managing eczema symptoms
|40 billion CFU (at the time of manufacturing)
|Clear Wellness 360
|12 billion CFU
|L-lysine, vitamin C
|53.6 billion AFU
|Hydresia G2, grape seed oil
|1–2 times a day
|Aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, moringa seed oil, co-enzyme Q10, Squalene, oat oil, watermelon, apple, and lentil extracts
What is eczema?
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory, non-contagious dermal condition characterized by symptoms such as itchy, dry, irritated skin. The unresistant scratching of the skin may sometimes lead to bleeding wounds or cuts, which can result in scars.
The onset of this condition may be in early childhood, adolescence, or adulthood — with a higher prevalence and more frequent flare-ups in children and newborns. While some children may grow out of eczema, others may need constant preventative treatments both in adolescence and adulthood.
There are 7 types of eczema:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Contact dermatitis
- Nummular eczema
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
Each of these types of eczema has different levels of severity and needs symptom-specific treatment.
What causes eczema?
There are various causes of eczema, which may include both genetic and environmental factors. Some factors may act as triggers for severe flare-ups. The triggers can be extrinsic and intrinsic, including household cleaning products and detergents, stress, imbalance of bacterial levels in the gut, and a sensitive immune system.
While some people consider eczema hereditary, the exacerbation of this condition may also be caused by exposure to the following triggers.
- Irritants. Household irritants, such as soaps, detergents, shampoo, perfume, and body lotions, may cause the skin to become dry and itchy. Sometimes, specific irritants may trigger the overactive immune system observed in eczema, cause skin inflammation, and potentially lead to flare-ups.
- Environmental factors or allergens. Some people may be more sensitive to dampness, dry air, and cold weather, while others may experience eczema flare-ups due to exposure to polluted air, dust, mold, or animal fur.
- Hormonal changes. Estrogen decrease before menstruation and during menopause is associated with dry skin and worse eczema symptoms. An increase in cortisol — the stress response hormone — may be related to increased systemic inflammation and may contribute to eczema flare-ups.
- Skin infections. Many people may wonder if skin infections can cause eczema, but this is not the case. However, skin infections are a prevalent problem among people with eczema as they are more susceptible than healthy individuals due to the weakened skin barrier.
How can probiotics help with eczema?
The evidence for treating eczema with probiotics is still in its infancy. Nonetheless, limited clinical research suggests that topical probiotic administration may help reduce some skin conditions and may also be beneficial for reducing or preventing eczema irritations.
Some skin areas affected by eczema have increased susceptibility to infections. Some of these cases may be addressed with a course of prescription antibiotics. However, antibiotic use may cause an imbalance in the bacterial microflora, increasing the risk of other health complications such as constipation, vaginal infections, diarrhea, and others.
Supplementation with probiotics may be advantageous for restoring the debilitated bacterial levels in the body and reducing the risk of the above-mentioned adverse antibiotic-associated events.
Probiotics for dermatitis
Dermatitis is an umbrella term people use to describe various skin inflammation conditions. Eczema is a type of dermatitis as it also is an inflammatory skin condition.
The research looking at the effectiveness of oral probiotics for reducing or treating dermatitis shows little to no benefits. However, with the evolving probiotic supplement market, researchers are exploring topical probiotic creams that might prevent the colonization of harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of developing skin infections in individuals with eczema.
Probiotics for dyshidrotic eczema
Dyshidrotic eczema or dyshidrosis is a non-inflammatory skin condition mainly affecting the hands and feet. This recurring dermal issue is often addressed with lotions or moisturizers.
There are various causes of dyshidrotic eczema, such as stress and contact with industrial materials or jewelry. Due to the non-inflammatory nature of this condition, it is unlikely that probiotics could help treat dyshidrosis or its symptoms. Thus, currently, there are no studies evaluating probiotics’ benefits for this condition.
Benefits of probiotics for eczema treatment
While probiotics cannot treat eczema, they may help balance bacteria levels in the gut for general digestive and immune health.
The probiotic strains studied extensively and proposed to confer such benefits are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotic supplements may be healthful in the following ways:
- Balancing skin microbiome. Most common skin infections in atopic dermatitis or eczema are caused by pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. A probiotic strain — Bacillus subtilis — was observed to produce molecules that might prevent S. aureus accumulation on the skin. Therefore, a topical administration of this probiotic might potentially be beneficial in preventing and reducing further infection.
- Reduce eczema infections. Sometimes, scratching dry areas may result in minor cuts on the skin, exposing it to infections. Probiotics may help strengthen the immune system, thus supporting its ability to fight infections.
- Reduce allergies. Seasonal, food, or textile allergies may cause severe eczema flare-ups. Probiotics may potentially reduce and help manage some symptoms by enhancing immune responses against common allergens. Yet, it's worth noting that probiotics alone will not treat allergies and may only be used alongside prescription medications.
- Restore bacterial microflora. Probiotics are generally proposed to balance the levels of good and harmful bacteria in the whole body. By altering the gut’s bacterial environment, probiotics may help protect the host against numerous pathogens, as well as improve digestion and general well-being in women and men.
- Diarrhea prevention. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed as a treatment for infected eczema. This may affect gut bacteria and lead to digestive discomfort and diarrhea. Probiotics use was shown to help reduce the risk of diarrhea after antibiotics use. Note that the supplementation with probiotics after the antibiotics course should be discussed with your doctor.
Probiotic strains that are most beneficial in eczema treatment
Although many people with atopic dermatitis are looking for the best probiotics supplements or strains for eczema treatment, it’s imperative to know that they cannot treat or cure this skin condition.
However, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are widely researched and are suggested to be effective in supporting bacterial balance and promoting overall health. Other strains and their benefits for skin health protection are the following:
|Suggested effects for skin health
|In a few clinical studies which strain was associated with reduced the prevalence of eczema in children
|Showed minor reduction of dermatitis symptoms by improving immune system
|May prevent the colonization of harmful bacteria on the skin barrier
|B. bifidum, L. sakei
|The combined use may help improve the natural moisture content of the skin
|L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, B. bifidum
|The blend of these probiotics may balance bacteria levels after antibiotics use for eczema
Possible risks of using probiotics for eczema
Although considered safe for human consumption, using probiotics for eczema management may lead to some side effects, including:
- Allergies. People with known milk or yeast allergies, as well as prebiotic inulin commonly used in probiotic supplements, may be more susceptible to allergic reactions.
- Interference with the immune system. Doctors advise against probiotics use for people with weakened immune systems or taking immunosuppressant medications.
- Gastrointestinal discomfort. During the first week or two of taking probiotic supplements, some people report experiencing diarrhea or constipation. These effects should clear up after some time; otherwise, you should discontinue supplementation and discuss it with your doctor.
Although cases of probiotic side effects are rare, the possibility suggests you should consult your healthcare provider to find the strain, dose, and formulation that is suitable for your situation.
Best probiotics for eczema — conclusion
The scientific evidence suggests that eczema cannot be treated with probiotics supplementation. Yet, people are still looking for the best probiotic supplement for addressing or managing the symptoms of dermatitis and other types of eczema.
Nevertheless, probiotics are suggested to provide general health benefits to the consumer by improving the gut microbiome. The best probiotics for eczema we reviewed are specifically designed to address skin health, as well as improve the immune system triggering eczema flare-ups.
Discover other benefits of probiotic supplements
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Does taking probiotics help with eczema?
Probiotics may help with eczema in certain ways. Evidence shows no significant efficacy in using probiotic supplements for eczema. However, using specific probiotic strains may help reduce the chance of developing eczema infections, the risk of which is high due to sensitive skin.
What probiotics are best for skin irritation?
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera are widely studied for their effectiveness in improving general well-being along with improving skin health. Yet, there is no evidence about their effectiveness in reducing skin irritation specifically.
What clears severe eczema?
Currently, there are no treatments that can clear eczema entirely and permanently. However, certain measures can be considered to ease the symptoms, such as dryness and itchiness, using moisturizers and topical corticosteroids in cream and ointment formulations.
What foods trigger eczema flare-ups?
Food containing gluten, soy, citrus, and high sugar content, milk, and nuts may trigger eczema flare-ups. Some spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla, may also exacerbate eczema symptoms.
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Probiotics for treating eczema.
- Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. Current Status of Probiotics as Supplements in the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
- Foods. Probiotics as a Possible Strategy for the Prevention and Treatment of Allergies. A Narrative Review.
- Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. Lactobacillus for the treatment and prevention of atopic dermatitis: Clinical and experimental evidence.
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. Lactobacillus rhamnosus Used in the Perinatal Period for the Prevention of Atopic Dermatitis in Infants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials.