Sweet sugar, candida, and eczema

Being National Eczema month, I can’t not dis­cuss the rela­tion­ship between sug­ar and eczema.

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What?!”, you say? How is this pos­sible that sug­ar influ­ences eczema! I don’t even eat sug­ar!

Dietary sug­ar is not only just the white stuff. Sugar is also found nat­ur­ally in fruit, fruit juices and baked goods, and of course the “nat­ur­al” sweeten­ers (because tech­nic­ally sug­ar itself is nat­ur­al) like agave, honey, stevia.

Why sug­ar aggrav­ates eczema is actu­ally quite com­plex, but let’s sim­pli­fy this issue with a few known facts:

  1. Healthy skin hosts a pleth­ora of microbes includ­ing bac­teria and yeast
  2. In unhealthy skin, where the skin bar­ri­er is broken as in atop­ic dermatit­is or eczema, these pop­u­la­tions of microbes grow to excess
  3. As the num­bers of microbes increase to unhealthy levels, the skin becomes irrit­ated, caus­ing you to scratch, which fur­ther dam­ages the skin bar­ri­er, allow­ing more bac­teria and yeast to take hold

Fun fact: Yeast, espe­cially can­dida — a major play­er in this skin irrit­a­tion cycle — feed on sug­ar

Simple sug­ars, like those from fruit, are not “bad” for us per se, but everything in mod­er­a­tion is key here. No more than 3 servings of fruit a day is really neces­sary for an adult or a child to get the health bene­fits from fruit.

Do a sug­ar tally of your day; write down every source of sug­ar you can think that you might eat. In some of the tod­dlers I treat with eczema, we found they were eat­ing 6 – 8 servings of fruit a day! That is a lot of sug­ar for any­one, let alone someone with a still-devel­op­ing immune sys­tem.

If you have ques­tions or con­cerns about how sug­ar affects your eczema, share your exper­i­ences with me below in the com­ments sec­tion; I would love to hear from you, as I’m sure oth­ers with eczema would also! Feel free to share this inform­a­tion if you know a sug­ar addict with eczema who might need your help :)

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