15 Years’ Eczema: How Collagen Saved Me When Dermatologists Couldn’t
Updated: Aug 25
How Collagen Helped My Eczema
For as long as I can remember, I have been suffering from eczema. Whenever I had these flare-ups, I would apply copious amounts of cream or aloe vera in order to lessen the burning sensation and to calm my skin. These flare-ups typically affected me on my hands and also especially in the area behind my ears.
Whilst not totally debilitating, my eczema issues have definitely affected my life to the point where I have spent hours and hours researching home remedies, testing different foods and probably thousands of dollars seeking medical help to manage the problem.
At one point, I suffered from a bout of eczema during a stressful period of my life, which made my hands incredibly dry, flaky and painful, and which also made me hyper aware of how my hands looked. At this stage, I even resorted to wearing gloves because I was so concerned about the condition of my hands and how they looked.
The good news is that, after trying so many different methods, I have found a good routine to help keep my eczema at bay. While I still do have flare-ups occasionally - especially during times of intense work stress or most recently after my second trimester of pregnancy, my routine has definitely helped me to see marked improvement in my eczema issues.
In sharing my experience, I do hope to be able to help more people cope with their eczema issues.
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is an umbrella term for skin conditions that are characterized by inflammation, redness, and itchiness. It usually refers to one type called atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is extremely common worldwide, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. In certain cases, extreme eczema can even hinder the completion of simple daily tasks, causing distress.
Symptoms associated with eczema include red rashes, bumpy dry skin, itching and even open sores in severe cases. In addition, it can affect the whole body but the most likely problem spots would be the hands, back of knees, inside of elbows, face, and the scalp.
*Image: Author’s Own
What Causes Eczema
*Image: National Eczema Org
The human skin barrier helps to recognize and keep out intrusive organisms and substances. However, at times, the function of this skin barrier may become compromised due to a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers and stress. This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Some causes of eczema include:
An overreaction of your immune system to irritants or allergens.
Allergic reactions to common substances like pollen, pet hair, or certain foods
Irritants in your environment like tobacco smoke, air pollutants, harsh soaps and fabrics such as wool and some skin products.
High stress levels
In addition, low humidity (air that is dry) can also dry out your skin, and sweating caused by high heat can also make the itchiness worse.
Managing Eczema Through The Use Of Topical Steroids
Through my numerous visits with both medical doctors and dermatologists, the typical prescription of topical steroids only offers very transient relief. From my personal experience, I have realized that prolonged steroid cream usage on my skin tends to result in my eczema coming back with a renewed vengeance after the treatment stops.
Furthermore, one of the reasons I stopped relying on topical steroids was also based on research that prolonged usage would lead to the thinning of my skin further, thereby exacerbating the condition even further and increasing my reliance on it.
This caused a vicious cycle of steroid treatment which led to a worsening eczema condition after, which then led to a strong steroid treatment and so on.
While the temporal relief of steroid creams can be very addictive and helps to make me feel better in the short term, I was looking for a longer term solution. This longer term solution to me was in a lifestyle change or a superfood to add to my diet to help keep my eczema condition at bay.
Discovering The Secret To Managing Eczema
Knowing that the cause of eczema is when the function of the skin barrier becomes compromised…
…a long-term solution would have to be one where my body was capable of sustaining that skin barrier, right?
In my quest for a long-term solution to managing my eczema, I stumbled upon the answer…
Collagen is found naturally in your body and plays a crucial role in protecting, smoothing and hydrating your skin to ensure that it remains elastic and firm. It is also the most abundant protein in your body which effectively works like scaffolding or glue and plays an important structural role in the building blocks of your cells.
When you're young, your body synthesizes all the collagen it needs from amino acids in foods like fish, meat, and protein-rich plant sources such as seeds. But studies show that as you get older your natural collagen levels start to drop drastically from around 25 onwards.
That’s where collagen supplements come in. These products come in the form of powders, tablets and liquids, and are formulated to help restore your natural levels by boosting your collagen production levels.
Collagen works in two ways in your skin. Firstly, it supplies the building blocks for collagen and elastin production, and secondly, it holds together the cells in the connective tissue to produce collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. This is important for regulating skin physiology and structure which are predominantly made by the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline that are responsible for keeping your skin, muscles, and soft tissues hydrated and taut.
In addition, collagen also plays an important role in building keratin, the primary protein in hair and nails which is also responsible for maintaining the health of your muscles, cartilage, bones, joints, gums, teeth, blood vessels and internal organs.
While eating a diet rich in protein can help to support collagen production to some degree, taking a supplement is a far quicker and more convenient way to give yourself that much-needed collagen boost and help restore your depleted collagen levels.
My Methodology of Testing
Over the last 5 years, I have documented the effects of different collagen supplements, formats (liquids/pills/powders) and brands, and the impact they had on my eczema.
To be absolutely certain that the effects of these supplements were isolated, if the changes resulted in an improvement, I would deliberately revert the changes for 2 weeks to a month to see if the eczema returned.
Through my testing methodology, my findings were that the improvements seen after using certain collagen supplements were purely coincidental, and a number could not be isolated as the reason for the improvements. In addition, some worked but were unreliable relief, and ultimately not long-lasting.
Collagen Supplements: What To Look For
With so many options out there, it can be very difficult to distinguish which brands are effective, and which are just trying to take your money.
However, after testing out numerous collagen supplements and doing my own research online, I believe that when it comes to finding a high-quality collagen supplement that delivers results, you should look for the following things:
Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen Peptides
Look for products formulated with hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides which are considered to be a superior form of collagen.
Hydrolyzed collagen has already been broken down into small peptides which are considerably easier for your body to absorb, thereby stimulating more collagen production.
This form of collagen offers increased bioavailability which makes it more effective and ensures you have the best chance of getting the results you're looking for.
While Collagen is one of the building blocks of great skin, it also works synergistically in partnership with other important nutrients.
Make sure that any supplement you buy also contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which plays a vital role in collagen synthesis as it helps your cells to absorb collagen.
Another useful ingredient to look out for in any collagen formula is anti-oxidants, which help to prevent free-radical damage caused by sunlight, in tandem, these will help to improve effectiveness and nourish your skin from the inside out.
Don't settle for low-quality, inferior non-branded collagen. Instead, look for products formulated with premium quality branded collagen to ensure that you're getting the best possible quality.
The highest quality choice right now is Nitta-gelatin Wellnex ® hydrolyzed collagen peptides which have been studied extensively and shown to offer superior bioavailability.
As well as being odorless and tasteless, these type 1 marine peptides are fully traceable and sustainably sourced from 100% wild-caught fish. It's important to know what you're putting in your body and know where your collagen comes from.
No Unnecessary Ingredients
The best Collagen supplements on the market are the ones composed of natural, healthy, non-synthetic ingredients.
By cutting out the fillers, you can be sure you're getting 100% premium, highly concentrated ingredients in their purest form, with no unnecessary artificial additives or synthetics.
Top 3 Collagen Supplements for Eczema
Based on my testing, my choice for a collagen supplement for my eczema is The Purest Co’s Collagen Glow Berries.
Its liquid form factor maximizes absorption into the body and I believe it is one of the highest quality, if not the highest quality collagen supplement in the market today.
Whatever the case is, after trying close to 10 different collagen brands in various forms; powders, pills, gummies - you name it I’ve tried them - this collagen supplement has worked the best for me.
We here at Superfood Reviews have done the research to find out what the best option for collagen supplements in the market. We have graded each choice through a stringent grading based on the following criteria:
Worked the best for my eczema after rigorous testing
Contains Nitta-gelatin Wellnex® hydrolyzed collagen peptides from Japan
Contains vitamin C, bilberry extract and mixed berries concentrate juice
Made in Taiwan
Manufactured to HACCP and ISO22000 standards
Highly rated for customer service
Free SG delivery on all orders
Only available online
Sometimes out of stock due to demand
The Purest Co’s collagen supplement is my go to in order to help me manage my eczema issues. It delivers a potent dose (5500mg) of Nitta-gelatin Wellnex® hydrolyzed collagen peptides which are a superior form of Type 1 marine collagen, as well as a whole host of supporting ingredients like vitamin C (250mg), bilberry extract, and mixed berries concentrate juice.
After my rigorous testing, it indeed helped me to reduce my eczema issues and has worked well in providing long term relief for me. In addition, customer service is great and the company answered all my questions in a prompt manner.
When I compare the Collagen Glow Berries with other brands, I believe this product is unrivaled in its effectiveness, quality and value.
*Results are based on my experience and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products.
2. Marine Collagen Peptides by The Purest Co
Key differentiators: Affordable, Superior ingredients
Has 5,000mg of patented Marine Collagen Peptides & 50mg of Water Bamboo Extract
Free SG delivery on all orders
Manufactured in FDA-Registered Facility
The Purest Co's Marine Collagen Peptides feature a generous 5,000 mg of top-quality marine collagen peptides in every scoop. Sustainably sourced from wild-caught fish found in the North Atlantic Ocean, this product is further enriched with beneficial components such as beta-carotene and water bamboo extract from Zizania latifolia, effectively shielding the skin from free radical damage and promoting a radiant complexion.
Infused with Peach and Cherry Blossoms, the flavor of this supplement is both delightful and well-balanced, offering a harmonious blend of sweetness and subtlety. The infusion also contributes to effective skin hydration and moisturization, making it a perfect choice for those aiming to rejuvenate their skin from the inside out.
In conclusion, The Purest Co's Marine Collagen Peptides offer a unique formulation and refreshing taste, making it an excellent and affordable collagen supplement for anyone seeking noticeable results.
A brand with a long history
One of the highest marine collagen peptide amounts
Can be purchased at retail shops
Contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin C
Tasty citrus flavored
Divisive feedback from consumers
Customer service not the greatest
Average consumer may not require that much collagen
New Moon is a very well-known brand and their collagen supplement drink contains one of the highest amounts of marine collagen peptides in the market, and they have priced it as such.
Inner Radiance collagen drink also contains ceramide and hyaluronic acid, as well as maqui berry and vitamin C, which complements their marine collagen peptides. For me, I felt that a lower amount of collagen at a better price point was good enough for me (based on my testing), as it would allow me to consume it long term.
Inner Radiance also unfortunately does not seem to have discounts for multiple order purchases - meaning if you plan on taking this long-term, it could get very expensive.
This supplement would be a good option for those who are not price-sensitive, and who require more collagen than normal for their condition.
Today, I live pretty much (almost 100%) eczema free, thanks to the daily collagen regime as well as having a balanced diet containing a lot of fish, fruits and vegetables.
Ultimately, everyone’s eczema issues differ, and what triggers my eczema might be different from yours. In addition, stress also plays a big part in flare ups, which can be triggered by very many things.
That being said, I believe that focusing on repairing and strengthening your skin’s barrier through a collagen supplement such as The Purest Co’s Collagen Glow Berries could be a key step in your fight against eczema.
MY TOP PICK
After my in-depth research, and testing numerous brands…
I have come to the conclusion that the collagen supplement from The Purest Co works the best for my skin and helps me to combat my eczema issues.
While there are a few other options that are good as well in terms of quality…my thoughts are that in terms of an effective supplement for me, The Purest Co is by far the best choice right now.