Atopic dermatitis is a skin inflammation occurring in humans as well as in dogs. Atopic dermatitis (AD), is also referred to as atopic eczema. It is a special type of inflammation of the skin, resulting in itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin. You can find it often in very young children and in that case the entire body may be affected. In older people the eczema is often active at the back of the knees and elbows, as well as on the hands and feet.

Scientists from Italy in 2015 explored the efficacy of the natural anti-inflammatory compound palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in a special form of dermatitis, in a dog model: canine atopic dermatitis. In a study in 39 centre 160 dogs were treated during 8 week study with palmitoylethanolamide. The dogs all had signs and symptoms of with moderate atopic dermatitis.

Both the itch (medical term pruritus) decreased as well as the severity of the dermatitis lesions of the skin. The dogs clearly behaved much more ‘dog-like’ and had much less problems induced by the skin inflammation after the period of 8 weeks treatment with PEA.

Use of PEA in atopic dermatitis

“Palmitoylethanolamide can be of use in dermatitis and psoriasis, both skin disorders based on chronic inflammation.”

We prefer for these skin inflammations either the Italian tablets, based on um-PEA or m-PEA, or the Dutch capsules containing PEA with the quality marker PEA-opt. In the Dutch capsules there are no chemical excipients added. Only for these formulations long term safety and efficacy data are available. Only for these formulations there are currently data available proving that after intake PEA levens in the body significantly rise.


Figure: Palmitoylethanolamide in the centre of scientific attention for its role in atopic dermatitis.

For pain relief and for inhibiting inflammation, most patients choose:

  • PEA capsules produced in the Netherlands by Russell
  • PEA tablets produced in Italy by Epitech

Recommendation to take PEA in atopic dermatitis

In eczema such as atopic dermatitis we recommend to use as well the PEA capsules, together with the PEA (1%) cream (also based on PEA-opt quality). The cream can be applied as often as one wants, the capsules are recommended to take tree times a day after a meal.


Noli C, Della Valle MF, Miolo A, Medori C, Schievano C; Skinalia Clinical Research Group. Efficacy of ultra-micronized palmitoylethanolamide in canine atopic dermatitis: an open-label multi-centre study. Vet Dermatol. 2015 Dec;26(6):432-40, e101. doi: 10.1111/vde.12250. Epub 2015 Aug 18.