Food and Eczema - What is the Connection?

Food and Eczema - What is the Connection?

Lana Lindstrom

Is there a connection between what you are eating and your eczema? Changing your diet is not guaranteed to alleviate side effects of eczema, but it can help you recognize which foods to avoid. Many individuals that suffer from eczema report a decrease in eczema symptoms by eliminating certain food groups. Trying an elimination diet is easy and does not have side effects.

Unfortunately there is no proven data that suggests certain foods can make eczema symptoms improve, but many suggest certain foods can cause eczema to flare more than others. This can vary from person to person. Closely monitoring your eating habits can help you recognize which foods may be exasperating your eczema.

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Common food-related irritants include:

  • Dairy milk
  • Eggs
  • Gluten
  • Nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy

As you may recognize, these are very common food allergies. There is a connection between eczema and food allergies in children. Up until the age of 4, food allergies may cause eczema. In fact, about ⅓ of children with eczema also have food allergies. If you think a food allergy has caused eczema in your child, consult with your doctor before treating. If your child has struggled for more than a year with unrelenting eczema, ask to be referred to a specialist, preferably an allergist. Allergists can be very helpful in determining what your child is allergic to and removing that irritant from your child's environment or diet.

Foods that have been said to improve symptoms include:

  • Probiotics-these can be found naturally in yogurt, or in a daily probiotic.
  • Potassium-bananas can be a great source of much needed potassium.
  • Vitamin D-this can be absorbed from the sun, or in pill or drop form during winter months.
  • Oats-high in fiber and vitamin E, both encourage strong skin.
  • Lean meats-high in protein and zinc, promote a strong immune system.

Please note: These are not guaranteed to work for everyone, but may offer relief for some.

You need at least 2 weeks of eliminating a food group to know if it improves eczema symptoms. If you reintroduce this food group back into your diet or your child's diet and experience an eczema flare - that is an indication that you are allergic or have a sensitivity to that food group. It should be avoided. 

You may notice an improvement by incorporating a low-inflammation diet. Since inflammation is a key aspect of eczema, it is important to eat foods that minimize this. Low-inflammation foods include whole grains, proteins, and plenty of vegetables. Diets with high levels of processed foods, sugar and fat can be a trigger and flare for eczema.

Research for the connection between diet and eczema is ongoing since different foods and diets affect people differently. The most practical solution is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Track changes to your diet to recognize what is helping and what is not. Food journaling can be extremely helpful.

Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

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