Nutrition and Health

Are Bananas Good For Eczema?

Eczema is a condition characterized by itchy, inflamed, cracked skin that can range in severity from mild to debilitating. It’s estimated to affect over 30 million Americans. Finding an effective eczema treatment often requires trial and error.

While medication and moisturizers are commonly used to manage eczema flares, many people are interested in lifestyle changes that may provide additional relief. This includes dietary modifications like adding or removing certain foods. Bananas have emerged as one food that may have benefits for eczema.

What Is Eczema and What Causes It?

Eczema refers to several chronic inflammatory skin conditions. The most common type is known as atopic dermatitis. It’s more prevalent in children but can occur at any age.

Eczema arises from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. While the exact cause remains unknown, it’s believed immune system dysfunction and impaired skin barrier function play a role. Things that may trigger flares include irritants, allergens, stress, weather changes, infections, and hormone fluctuations.

Potential Mechanisms Behind Bananas and Eczema

So how might bananas help eczema? They contain an array of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Bananas also have prebiotic fiber that encourages growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Here are some ways these nutritional elements may improve eczema:

1. Vitamin C

Bananas contain vitamin C, which supports immune function and skin collagen production. It acts as an antioxidant to reduce inflammation and free radical damage. One study in mice found vitamin C decreased inflammatory cytokine levels and lesion severity in a model of chronic eczema.

2. Vitamin E

This fat soluble vitamin in bananas enhances skin moisture and healing. Vitamin E’s antioxidant activity curbs cell damage from inflammation. It also protects skin barrier lipids from breakdown.

3. Magnesium

Bananas are a good source of magnesium. This mineral regulates nerve and muscle function. Magnesium deficiency is linked to increased inflammation. Supplementing eczema patients with oral magnesium reduced symptom severity in a clinical trial.

4. Prebiotics

Bananas contain prebiotic fiber that feeds probiotics or beneficial bacteria in the gut. Dysbiosis or microbial imbalance in the intestines may contribute to eczema. Prebiotics help restore normal microbiome composition. In infants with eczema, combining prebiotics with probiotics decreased eczema prevalence and severity scores.

5. Serotonin

Bananas contain serotonin, a hormone associated with mood regulation. Chronic stress and impaired emotional health are eczema triggers. Serotonin in bananas may provide a brain boosting effect to cope with eczema flares.

The Link Between Bananas and Eczema

Now, let’s address the pressing question: can bananas help alleviate eczema symptoms? There’s no direct scientific evidence to support the claim that bananas can cure eczema or make it disappear altogether. However, some anecdotal reports and alternative medicine practices suggest that bananas might offer certain benefits for eczema sufferers.

1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Bananas contain compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Some eczema patients claim that eating bananas helps reduce redness and swelling in affected areas. While individual responses may vary, this could be attributed to the presence of compounds like histidine and lectins that have been associated with anti-inflammatory effects.

2. Moisturizing Effects

One theory supporting the potential benefits of bananas for eczema lies in their moisturizing properties. The pulp of ripe bananas is soft and creamy, making it an easily applicable topical remedy for dry and itchy skin. Some people with eczema have reported temporary relief by directly applying mashed bananas to affected areas.

3. Nutrient Support

The impressive nutritional profile of bananas means that incorporating them into your diet can provide essential vitamins and minerals that promote overall skin health. A well-nourished body is better equipped to manage various skin conditions, including eczema.


While bananas are a delicious and nutritious fruit, their direct impact on eczema remains inconclusive. They are not a cure, but their potential anti-inflammatory properties and moisturizing effects may offer some temporary relief for some individuals. As part of an overall healthy diet, bananas can provide essential nutrients that support skin health and overall well-being.

As with any natural remedy, individual responses may vary, and it’s crucial to remember that eczema management requires a personalized approach, ensure that you do not substitute natural remedies for medical or traditional treatments. Banana are just one of the many superfoods out there that can help you maintain a healthy diet. Be sure to also include other fruits and vegetables in your daily meals to get the full range of essential vitamins and minerals.

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