Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder categorised by skin irritation, oozing blisters, itchy and dry patches. It is medically termed atopic dermatitis that often develops due to chronic inflammation in the body and leads to leathery skin patches appearing over a period. This skin disorder is quite common among younger children under age 2 and affects older children and adults. Hereditary and environmental triggers are the key causative factors that lead to the development of eczema. Other triggers of eczema include perfumes, shampoo, body washes, detergents, fabric, pets, pollen, dust mites, molds and food allergy, as well as climate, hormones, and stress.
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis differ from person to person and some people may often experience a severe flare-up followed by remissions when the symptoms clear up. Eating certain foods that do not cause inflammation may help lessen symptoms and control eczema.
Most people who suffer from eczema are often diagnosed with food allergies. However, each person is different and identifying food triggers is important to minimize issues with allergies. Some people may have issues with certain foods and common food allergies associated with eczema include:
Gluten rich foods
Managing eczema with a wholesome and balanced diet is essential to uplift your overall health. Adding some of the foods that contain healing properties may help decrease eczema flare-ups. But knowing your body and what food works well for you is the key to better management.
There isn’t a standard eczema diet, however, eating a diet loaded with antioxidants may help. Some diet plans are based on principles that you may find beneficial in easing symptoms which include:
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, fish, healthy fats like olive oil and, foods rich in quercetin.
Sugary foods and red meat should be limited or avoided.
Anti-inflammatory diet pays attention to steer clearing foods that increase inflammation and adding fibre rich foods. Some of the foods to be added include:
Healthy fat like olive oil
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Chemically processed and preserved foods are avoided in this diet plan.
Foods To Include
Having anti-inflammatory foods are best known to reduce inflammation and lessen eczema symptoms that include:
Quercetin Rich Foods
Quercetin is a phytonutrient called flavonoid that renders flowers, fruits, and vegetables their bold colour. It is credited to have potent antioxidant and antihistamine traits. Thus, adding foods rich in quercetin can remarkably lessen inflammation as well as levels of histamine in the body. Some of the foods plentiful in quercetin include:
Fatty fish and fish oil are heaped with omega 3 fatty acids that are strong anti-inflammatory agents. Having fatty fish like salmon and herring may lessen symptoms associated with eczema. You may also take omega 3 supplements, about 250 mg per day is the recommended dosage.
Probiotics contain live cultures that boost the gut microbiome and build a robust immune system. Including food rich in probiotics may help lower flare-ups or severe allergic reactions. Some of the food sources abundant in probiotics include:
Naturally, fermented pickles
Eating more of these foods and cutting down food triggers may help to lessen flare-ups.
Elimination Diet/ Foods To Avoid
Food-sensitive eczema will generally develop about 6-24 hours after a person eats a particular food. In some cases, these reactions may be delayed even much longer. To identify what foods may be triggering the reaction, a doctor will mostly suggest an elimination diet. This diet includes avoiding some of the most common foods that are known to cause eczema.
Before starting with an elimination diet, a person must slowly add each food type into their meal plan and monitor for any allergic reaction for 4 to 6 weeks to assess if they are sensitive to any food. If a person’s symptoms do not improve even after eliminating a food, they would probably need not require removing it from the diet.
Some of the common food sources that may trigger an eczema flare-up and should be avoided include:
- Citrus Fruits
- Gluten rich foods
- Soy and soy products
- Certain spices like vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon
- Some nuts
- Few people with eczema also experience oral allergy syndrome or sensitivity to birch pollen. They should be avoiding
- Green apples
Food containing preservatives and artificial colours may also worsen symptoms such as processed and preserved foods, fast food, and foods high in trans fats.
- Sugary foods may also trigger eczema flare-ups which include:
- Cakes and pastries
- Carbonated beverages
- Sugary drinks