When your skin signals a dangerous heart condition

Your skin can tell you a lot about your health. If your body is out of balance, it often shows up in the form of acne, rashes, eczema or other skin irritations. Why?

Skin issues are rooted in inflammation… just like most other health issues. So, if your skin is showing signs of inflammation, chances are, there’s inflammation wreaking havoc elsewhere in your body too.

It makes sense then that the state of your skin can clue you into the health of your other organs… including your heart.

In fact, a recent study shows that skin symptoms like eczema can be a strong signal that you have a higher risk for future cardiovascular problems, like unstable angina, heart attack, atrial fibrillation, and death from heart disease.

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The connection between eczema and cardiovascular trouble

A recent study from researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that people with the dry, itchy, irritated skin condition eczema had a higher risk for cardiovascular issues.

The study included 385,000 adults with eczema who were an average age of 43. Overall, the condition was linked to a 10 to 20 higher risk of ending up with some sort of cardiovascular condition. But get this… the cardiovascular risk got worse as the eczema did…

Researchers found that people with severe eczema also had some severe and scary cardiovascular risks, like:

  • 20 percent higher risk of stroke
  • 40 to 50 percent higher risk of unstable angina, heart attack, atrial fibrillation, and death from heart disease
  • 70 percent higher risk of heart failure

Now, if you know anything about the risk factors for eczema and the risk factors for cardiovascular problems, you know that there’s one major risk factor both conditions have in common: being overweight or obese.

But researchers took that into account. And these cardiovascular risks remained steady for people with eczema even after researchers adjusted their results to make sure weight, smoking and alcohol use didn’t skew them.

So, what does all this mean?

It means it’s time to heed your body’s warning that something’s up before you’re dealing with a problem far more serious than dry, itchy, irritated skin.

Could the answer be a vitamin?

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Managing inflammation, eczema, and cardiovascular risk

Both eczema and cardiovascular disease are tied to high levels of inflammation. But that’s not the only thing they have in common.

Studies show that people who suffer from these conditions can benefit greatly from adequate levels of a vitamin known as one of the greatest inflammation fighters — vitamin D.

In the case of eczema, vitamin D helps because it can

  • help modulate immune responses in various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases;
  • suppress overall inflammation;
  • promote a stronger skin barrier; and
  • lessen the severity of eczema symptoms.

When it comes to heart health, not only does vitamin D increase the level of nitric oxide in your blood to help support healthy blood flow and blood pressure, it also protects against oxidative stress in your cardiovascular system (damage caused by free radicals that accelerates the age of your cells).

It’s easy to see how if someone is deficient in this important vitamin, they could be at higher risk for both ailments. And according to the data, about 42% of the US population is vitamin D deficient with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency, including premenopausal women, those with poor nutrition habits, people over age 65, Caucasians who avoid even minimal sun exposure, and those who take prescription medication long term.

Also consider these healthy habits to lower inflammation:

  • Eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Fresh, whole foods calm the chronic inflammation that causes so many diseases.
  • Reducing your sugar intake. Sugar, on the other hand, fans the flames of inflammation.
  • Exercising daily. Studies show that regular exercise keeps inflammation levels low.
  • Slashing stress. High stress levels mean high inflammation levels. Reduce stress in your life by letting go of unnecessary stressors, setting aside time for relaxation and adopting a positive, optimistic mindset about life.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


  1. Severe eczema may be linked to heart disease risk — MedicalXpress
  2. J. Silverwood, et al. “Severe and predominantly active atopic eczema in adulthood and long term risk of cardiovascular disease: population based cohort study.” — BMJ, 2018
  3. Foods that fight inflammation — Harvard Health Publications
  4. Can Herbs Combat Inflammation? — DrWeil.com


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.