Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a condition that causes a person to develop patches of dry, itchy skin on their body. It often develops as a result of inflammation in the body. Eating foods that do not cause inflammation may help reduce symptoms.
While no cure exists, over-the-counter creams and drugs that can help to reduce inflammation are available. Sometimes, a doctor may recommend avoiding foods known to make eczema worse.
Some foods may trigger the release of the cells that cause inflammation, as well as immunoglobulin-E or IgE, which is an antibody that the body produces in response to a threat. Foods that contribute to inflammation include nuts, milk, and wheat.
For people with eczema, eating certain foods can trigger the body to release immune system compounds that cause inflammation, which, in turn, contributes to an eczema flare-up. An anti-eczema diet is similar to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:
Fish: This is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids that can fight inflammation in the body. Examples of fish high in omega-3s include salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring.
Foods high in probiotics: They are bacteria that promote good gut health. Examples include yoghurt with live and active cultures, miso soup, and tempeh. Other fermented foods and drinks, such as kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, also contain probiotics.
Foods high in inflammation: They are also known as fighting flavonoids. Examples include colourful fruits and vegetables, such as apples, broccoli, cherries, spinach, and kale.
Eating more of these foods and cutting down on any trigger foods could help to reduce eczema flare-ups.
Food-sensitive eczema reactions will typically occur between six and 24 hours after a person eats a particular food. Sometimes, these reactions may be delayed.
To determine what foods may be causing the reaction, a doctor will often recommend an elimination diet. This diet involves avoiding some of the most common foods known to cause eczema.
Before eliminating any foods, a person will need to slowly add each food type into their diet and monitor their eczema for four to six weeks to determine if they are sensitive to any particular food.
If a person’s symptoms get worse after adding a particular food to the diet, they may wish to consider avoiding it in the future. If a person’s symptoms do not improve when eliminating a food, they probably do not need to remove it from their diet.
Some common foods that may trigger an eczema flare-up and could be removed from a diet include:
Citrus fruits, dairy, eggs, gluten or wheat, soya bean and spices such as vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, tomatoes and some types of nuts.
A doctor may also recommend allergy testing. Even if a person is not allergic to a particular food, they may have sensitivity to it and could experience skin symptoms after repeat exposure. Doctors call this reaction food responsive eczema.
People with dyshidrotic eczema, which typically affects the hands and feet, may experience benefits from eating foods that do not contain nickel. Nickel is found in trace amounts in the soil and can, therefore, be present in foods.
Foods that are high in nickel include: Beans, black tea, canned meats, chocolate, lentils, nuts,peas, seeds, shellfish and soya beans.
Some people with eczema also have oral allergy syndrome or sensitivity to birch pollen. This means they may have reactions to other foods, including: green apples, carrot, celery, hazelnuts, pears.
People with eczema are more prone to oral allergy syndrome and should speak to their doctor if they have a pollen allergy or experience mild allergic reactions to the above foods.Source:medicalnewstoday.