The Benefits of Melatonin for Eczema
Last updated: July 2023
Many of us are already aware that melatonin can be used to aid our quality of sleep. But what about its use for eczema and other inflammatory conditions?
While I tend to keep a pretty close eye on potentially beneficial supplements and herbal treatments for eczema and other health conditions, this one was a new one for me. So naturally, I had to dive a little deeper.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone mostly produced by the pineal gland in our brain. Part of its function is regulating the body’s circadian rhythm.1
In order to do this, it has to interact with the immune system as well. The two are directly related. By regulating our bodies’ circadian rhythm, we also regulate our body’s immune function.2
How are sleep and eczema related?
Sleep is a major issue for most of us with atopic dermatitis (eczema), myself included. Sleep disturbance is reported in 47 percent to 80 percent of children with atopic dermatitis and in 33 percent to 90 percent of adults with atopic dermatitis.3
Nocturnal itch is a huge factor for many of us. Sleep is incredibly healing in itself, and I believe managing it can help with our healing immensely in itself. In my experience, when I get a good night’s sleep, my entire day is different, as I feel better all around.
How have I used melatonin before?
I used to use melatonin occasionally for sleep, but very rarely. However, I never knew all the other benefits of it, especially when it comes to our immune system and eczema in particular.
What does the research say?
While more research is definitely needed to determine the benefits of melatonin for those with eczema, there have been quite a few promising studies. I personally found many of them interesting and decided to try it myself after.
Research shows that melatonin may act as an antioxidant, reduce levels of certain markers of inflammation, and even possibly slow the development of eczema.4
Interestingly, going back to the sleep issue tied with eczema, 1 study in children tied increased eczema severity to greater sleep disturbances and decreased production of melatonin.5
Why did I try melatonin for eczema?
While I have used melatonin occasionally throughout my life for help with sleep, I never thought about using it for eczema. After doing a bit of a deeper dive, I figured it might be worth giving it a shot. So, I started taking it regularly to see if there were any remarkable changes. I still struggle with sleep sometimes anyhow. Though it is not nearly as bad as in the past, it is still an issue, especially when going through a flare-up.
Has it worked for me?
So far, I haven’t noticed any changes in my skin while taking it, though it does help a bit with sleep. However, I’m still not ready to give up on it. I want to give it a bit more time. Waiting is always the hardest part. But with any natural remedy, I have found it tends to take much longer to see results than we’d like. Many of us are used to a “quick fix.” We want something to make it go away immediately. This is especially true in our traditional Western medicine.
But patience is a virtue, after all. Sometimes it’s worth it to stick with something a bit longer. At this point, I’ll take all the help I can get. If nothing else, at least I will know for sure whether or not it works for me.
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