Why You Should Change Your Diet
The rate of people dying through preventable diseases is substantial, and chronic inflammation lies at its core.
Eczema is an inflammatory disease therefore if you eat a diet which promotes anti-inflammation, you can potentially reduce eczema symptoms and even reduce the severity of some topical steroid withdrawal symptoms . The problem is that when the remedy is to simply change our diet, we tend to shy away.
Tips For Starting An Eczema Diet
When working to get your eczema under control,, your best bet is to start with a few key steps:
The Itchy Dozen Worst Foods For Eczema
People are often surprised to find the Itchy Dozen includes some of the so-called ‘good’ foods for eczema. I know the Itchy Dozen contradicts some popular beliefs published in online blogs. However, according to Australian research conducted over the past thirty years, these foods could be the reason your skin is dry, flaky and incredibly itchy .
I’ve seen this information help hundreds of so called ‘hopeless’ cases of eczema. People who have had eczema for 20, 30 or 40 years and more, who thought they were stuck with eczema for life, are seeing their eczema clear up for the first time. It can really change lives but it requires a change in beliefs about healthy eating. This quote sums it up:
“One man’s medicine is another man’s sleepless night itching.”
So a food that is good for an eczema-free person, such as avocado, could trigger a bout of maddening itching in another person.
Not counting allergy foods , here are the surprising foods and beverages most likely to give you itchy eczema …
1. Dairy products
Dairy products, including cows milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese, are the second most common allergy food seen in eczema sufferers .
- Yoghurt is particularly bad for eczema as it often contains added sugar, fruit flavourings, amines and a natural colour called Annatto which can trigger eczema.
Calcium deficiency can cause eczema
If you are itchy, one heaped scoop of Skin Friend PM mixed into water or food will quickly calm down the itch.
Also Check: Eczema Rash On Baby Back
Foods Rich In Vitamin C
Foods containing vitamin C are notoriously good for your skin. Why?
First, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which means it falls into the above category of anti-inflammatory foods.
Second, vitamin C is needed to form a healthy skin barrier, which helps lock in moisture and prevent dryness and irritation, according to August 2016 research in âNutrition Research and Practiceâ. This study also indicates that people with eczema have lower levels of vitamin C, which implies an association between these elements.
Does Drinking Water Help Eczema?
People with eczema have drier skin, but drinking enough water can help keep the skin hydrated, per the National Eczema Association. According to the University of Missouri System, adults should aim to drink half their body weight in ounces each day to stay hydrated.
A Note On Food Allergies
Atopic dermatitis and food allergies are highly correlated. Some individuals with eczema may have specific food sensitivities that could make symptoms worse. These food sensitivities are individualized and often difficult to pinpoint. To date, there are no specific foods generally recommended to eliminate from the diet to treat atopic dermatitis.
Food reactions are more common in infants and children than in the older population when it comes to atopic dermatitis. Foods may trigger immediate immunoglobulin E-mediated hypersensitivity reactions leading to hives or difficulty breathing, or eczematous reactions may occur hours later. Skin prick tests can identify food allergies. A diagnosis of food allergy requires specific signs and symptoms that occur repeatedly upon exposure.
The majority of food allergic reactions in the United States are triggered by peanuts, tree nuts, cows milk, eggs, soy, wheat, seafood, and shellfish. Food allergy reactions can range from life-threatening anaphylactic shock to a rash like eczema. Aside from food allergies, some individuals notice specific food sensitivities. Gluten and dairy are common foods associated with perceived intolerance.
You May Like: African Shea Butter For Eczema
Foods That Can Prevent Flare
Below are also foods that can help fight eczema, though you should always make sure to listen to your body, as what works for one person may not work for you.
Banana: Because bananas are high in potassium, they can be helpful for those suffering from eczema.
Seeds: Sunflower seeds and almonds are good sources of Vitamin E, says Perry. “Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and may help boost the immune system and reduce swelling.”
Beef or chicken broth: Make a soup or drink the broth plain, because both beef and chicken broth contain skin-repairing amino acid glycine.
Bell peppers, strawberries, and cauliflower: Perry likes these ingredients because they’re rich in Vitamin C. “Vitamin C aids in the synthesis of collagen for healthy skin,” she explains.
Flaxseed oil: Eczema is dry skin, so moisturize your skin from the inside out with flaxseed oil.
Oats: Oats contain vitamin E, zinc, and silica, which combine to help strengthen your skin.
Salmon: Salmon is a great source of full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, explains Perry.
Red cabbage: Even if you don’t like cabbage, try to learn to like it. Red cabbage is alkalizing and naturally anti-inflammatory.
Blueberries: These berries have a “high source of quercetin, which is a plant flavonol with antioxidant properties, which may reduce inflammation,” says Perry.
Which Foods Prevent Eczema From Flaring Up
All of these foods have one thing in common: they work to eliminate inflammation in the body.
- Fatty Fish. Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the body.
- Fruits and vegetables high in quercetin. McGrane says quercetin is, “a type of flavonoid that’s been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Examples include apples, cherries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, and kale.”
- Probiotic-rich foods.Probiotics are the good type of bacteria that have been shown to promote good gut health and facilitate digestion. Foods that are naturally rich in probiotics include yogurt with live cultures, kefir, and fermented foods such as miso and unpasteurized sauerkraut.
RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.
You May Like: How To Treat Hypopigmentation From Eczema
Foods To Avoid With Eczema And Tsw
Sweet butter balls of fairy floss, Batman! Why is my last pleasure on earth responsible for such tidal waves of itchy redness washing over my body!?
Well Robin, this is far more common than you might realize.
Today I discuss all things culinary and of course foods to avoid with eczema. Here’s what will be covered:
How it all starts Why a diet change is a good idea Worst foods for eczema Words of encouragement
Certain Foods Can Trigger An Immune System Reaction That Leads To An Inflammatory Eczema Breakout
Eczema is a skin condition that causes patches of dry, itchy skin on the body. The skin irritation, rashes, oozing and blistering can be extremely uncomfortable.
Theres no cure for eczema, but over-the-counter creams and medications are typically used to decrease inflammation and soothe atopic dermatitis breakouts. Additionally, there are certain foods that may trigger an individuals eczema.
Recommended Reading: Eczema Around Lips And Eyes
Read Also: Can You Have Eczema On Your Scalp
Atopic Dermatitis And Ige
Immediate reactions are IgE-mediated and may include a wide spectrum of clinical findings. These may occur within minutes to hours of food ingestion and can present as a single symptom or a combination of symptoms. These reactions may involve a single organ system or multiple systems, including the cutaneous, respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems. While immediate reactions can manifest as anaphylaxis, which is a rapid-onset, severe, and potentially fatal reaction, reactions may also vary widely in severity. Cutaneous findings may include pruritus alone or in combination with erythema, morbilliform eruptions, urticaria, or angioedema.
It has long been recognized that immediate reactions can lead to an exacerbation of AD due to pruritus and the resultant scratching. In 1936, Engman et al14 described a child with AD, sensitive to wheat, whose symptoms improved on a wheat-free diet. When fed wheat again, the child developed pruritus, began scratching, and again developed eczematous changes.14 While it has been suggested that immediate reactions may also lead to AD exacerbation via immune mediators, this requires further study.
Foods To Avoid With Eczema
Many people with eczema, or atopic dermatitis, also have food allergies. But some people without diagnosed food allergies notice they experience flare-ups of their eczema after they eat certain foods this may be a food sensitivity rather than an allergy. Its worth paying careful attention to how your diet affects your eczema in case it might help to avoid specific foods. One caveat: before you completely eliminate any foods from your diet, consult with your doctor. He or she can help you determine what steps to take when safely cutting out different food products.
Cows milk is one of the most commonly cited culprits of eczema flare-ups in children. Experts caution, however, that parents shouldnt just routinely eliminate milk or milk-based products from their childrens diets. When dairy products are completely removed from a childs diet, they may develop vitamin deficiencies and other issues. This kind of elimination diet should only be reserved for kids with severe eczema, and your childs doctor will want to talk about the appropriate food substitutes to offer. Some good news: some children with a milk allergy do eventually outgrow it.
Its very common for people with eczema to be allergic to peanuts. If you have a child who seems to have developed allergic symptoms, including eczema flare-ups, after eating peanuts, peanut butter, or any other food containing peanuts, you may want to consider allergy testing.
Also Check: How Do I Get Rid Of Eczema On My Eyelids
Which Foods Should You Avoid On An Eczema Diet
Numerous studies have found that certain foods can exacerbate eczema in people who are sensitive to these foods or have food allergies. The most common food-related allergies in the United States are triggered by peanuts, tree nuts, cows milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.
While food elimination isnt recommended for everyone, some people with eczema have shown improvements in their allergic reaction and eczema symptoms when theyve eliminated the foods theyre sensitive to. One study found that children who had eczema in addition to an egg allergy showed a significant reduction in their eczema symptoms when they eliminated eggs from their diet .
Mediterranean Diet For Eczema
Medical professionals have long praised the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which stresses lots of veggies, whole grains, legumes, fish with omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil. Its more plant-based and includes a lot of fish, says Dr. Hussain. Its got a lot of nuts, which is where youre getting your protein from.
You May Like: What Essential Oils Are Good For Baby Eczema
Eczema Triggers To Know And How To Avoid Them
For some people, an elimination diet may be appropriate to help identify potential food triggers of eczema. In young children, this may involve temporarily eliminating dairy products, egg, peanut, and soy, and in older children, this may involve getting rid of wheat, fish, tree nuts, and shellfish for a period of time.
Its always important to work with a medical professional before trying any specific diet or eliminating entire foods groups, so be sure to go over the pros and cons of any diet with a healthcare provider or nutritionist .
What Foods To Avoid If You Have Eczema
Eczema is a complicated condition: every sufferer has their own experience of eczema, with their own unique set of triggers and challenges, so its very hard to make generalisations about it!
What one person can tolerate on their skin or in their diet, will trigger a flare in another. However, there is, officially, a correlation between food and eczema.
The National Eczema Society says that Food allergies are considered an official comorbidity of atopic dermatitis alongside asthma, allergic rhinitis and depression. Researchers have found that up to 30 percent of people with AD also have food allergies.
However, theres not a straightforward relationship between eczema and food. Even if you never ate a triggering food ever again, your eczema wouldnt disappear. It might reduce considerably, but that will depend on whether youre exposed to other triggers, and what effect they have on your skin.
Lets look first at the difference between food intolerance, and food allergies, to try to understand how eczema reacts to what you eat.
Don’t Miss: How Can I Treat Eczema Naturally
Stay Away From These Foods
Food-sensitive skin reactions usually occur around six to 24 hours after you eat a certain type of food that doesnt agree with your system. To figure out what foods are causing your flare-ups, we often recommend paying attention to the common foods known to aggravate eczema.
Foods that commonly trigger an eczema reaction include:
- Wheat and gluten
- Dairy, including yogurt, cows milk, cheese, and butter
- Spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla
- Certain kinds of nuts
Before you ditch anything from your current diet, focus on each food type listed, one at a time, and keep an eye on your skin condition for about four to six weeks to determine if you are sensitive to that type of food. Keeping a food journal helps. If your symptoms seem to worsen after you add a food to your diet, avoid it in the future.
Eliminating Foods Can Do More Harm Than Good
To relieve the unbearably itchy skin, parents may stop feeding their child the foods that are most likely to cause a food allergy. This list of foods includes anything that contains milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and nuts.
Eliminating all of these foods for long periods can have a harmful effect on the child. Research shows that removing so many foods can cause:
Diseases due to lack of vitamins and minerals
Malnutrition due to lack of protein in the diet
Eliminating foods bottom line
If you feel that its necessary to remove foods from your child diet to prevent AD flare-ups, talk with a board-certified dermatologist first.
Testing can find out if its necessary to stop feeding your child certain foods. If its necessary to remove any food for a long time, help from a dietician can prevent health problems.
You May Like: What Is Good For Scalp Eczema
Research On Elimination Diets For Eczema
Good scientific studies are needed to be able to find out whether or not elimination diets are effective for . Such studies look at what happens when people who have eczema leave certain foods out of their diets. To do this, volunteers with eczema are randomly assigned to two groups. The research participants in one group are asked to keep eating their usual diets, while those in the other group are asked to go on a special diet.
Researchers from the analyzed nine suitable studies that tested whether elimination diets had any effect on symptoms. Six of the studies looked at diets that avoided eggs and milk. Two of them tested the effect of a liquid baby food reduced to a few nutrients without any allergens. One study looked at a diet made up of only a few foods. The participants were tested for food allergies in only one of these studies.
Most of the studies involved infants and children as participants. Only one involved adults exclusively. The studies were relatively small – the average number of participants was between 11 and 85. All of the studies also had weaknesses: For example, in some of them the participants did not stick to the strict diet properly. Only two studies followed the participants for longer than six months. In half the diets that excluded milk, soy-based milk substitutes were used. This could limit the value of the study outcomes because other research has shown that soy milk can sometimes cause allergies itself.
Worst Foods For Eczema
Here is a list of the worst of the worst foods to avoid with eczema. They are the pinnacle of what you should definitely eat if youve decided you dont have enough itching or rashes in your life.
It might be worth noting that most inflammatory reactions caused by food are actually said to be intolerance rather than an allergy, which can explain why allergy testing does not shed much light on food culprits.
Now, are you ready to begin the journey towards mourning the loss of your favorite junk food?
Read Also: Eczema In The Vulvar Area
No Quick Fix For Atopic Dermatitis
As researchers continue to study this common childhood disease, one finding stands out. No one thing can fix eczema. Following an eczema friendly skin care plan, helping your child avoid triggers, and using medication when needed can bring welcomed relief.
Related AAD resources
ReferencesAmerican Academy of Dermatology. Dermatologists caution that atopic dermatitis is a strong precursor to food allergies. New release issued February 4, 2011. Last accessed January 31, 2018.
Castro-Rodriguez JA and Garcia-Marcos L. What are the effects of a Mediterranean diet on allergies and asthma in children? Front Pediatr. 2017 5: 72.
Nowak-Wgrzyn A and Chatchatee P. Mechanisms of tolerance induction. Ann Nutr Metab. 2017 70 Suppl 2:7-24.
Shokeen D. Influence of diet in acne vulgaris and atopic dermatitis. Cutis. 2016 98:E28-9.
Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: Section 4. Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 71:1218-33.
Silverberg NB, Lee-Wong M, et al. Diet and atopic dermatitis. Cutis. 2016 97:227-32.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
Dont Miss: Aveeno Eczema Cream For Diaper Rash