Eczema is a long-term condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, red and cracked, according to the national health body. There are a variety of creams and treatments on the market all claiming to be the holy grail in helping to combat rash-like symptoms. According to studies, vitamin E could be the answer in helping to temporarily ease this painful skin condition.
A growing body of evidence suggests the vitamin offers a robust defence against eczema.
A 2015 study conducted on 70 participants with mild to moderate eczema compared use of 400 IU of vitamin E to a placebo for four months.
Treatment with vitamin E showed greater improvement compared to placebo for itching, redness, swelling, excoriation and skin thickening.
Vitamin E may have a short-term rescue effect for eczema, said the National Eczema Association.
The site added: "It may be effective with intermittent use, much like how topical steroids are used in conventional eczema treatment.
"There were no side effects reported in this study, but there have been documented reports of contact dermatitis, burning and itching with the topical vitamin E use."
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the effects of oral vitamin E on treatment of atopic dermatitis was analysed.
The study noted: "The pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) remains to be determined; recently a possible change in the immune system with production of immunoglobulins is proposed.
"As vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, with the ability to decrease the serum levels of immunoglobulin E in atopic patients, we aimed to evaluate the effect of oral vitamin E on treatment of AD.
"This study suggests that vitamin E can improve the symptoms and the quality of life in patients with AD.
"As vitamin E has no side effects with a dosage of 400 IU/day, it can be recommended for the treatment of AD."
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In a study published in Paediatric Allergy and Immunology, researchers found that children with the highest level of tocopherols - or vitamin E-related compounds - in their blood experienced 67 percent less risk of eczema and asthma than children with the lowest levels.
According to the NHS, people should not take too many vitamin E supplements, as this could be harmful.
"Taking 540mg or less a day of vitamin E supplements is unlikely to cause any harm," the health body added.
Vitamin E oil's potential benefits derive from two key features: its antioxidant properties, which could fight inflammation and slow the effects of free radicals, and its moisturizing properties.
Some purported benefits of vitamin E oil include its ability to moisturise the skin and help to prevent dry and flaky skin.
Some research suggests that vitamin E supplements may promote wound healing.
As vitamin E moisturizes the skin it may offer temporary relief from itching caused by dry skin.
Vitamin E may alleviate the dryness, itching, and flaking associated with eczema, or atopic dermatitis, said Medical News Today.
The health site added: "A few studies have found that oral vitamin E supplements could produce significant improvements in eczema symptoms.
"Though vitamin E oil has not been well-studied in the treatment of eczema, it may increase the effectiveness of topical moisturizers."
It's important to consult with your GP before embarking on any new supplements, creams or oils to help reduce the symptoms of eczema.