Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause itchy rashes, skin irritation, and oozing blisters. It can also result in leathery skin patches appearing over time.
Eczema may be caused by hereditary and environmental factors, but its cause isn’t clearly understood. The skin condition mostly affects children, adults are not left out too. When most children grow to adulthood, the eczema symptoms and outbreaks disappear in some cases.
According to study, an infant may be less likely to develop eczema if their mother takes probiotics and avoids drinking cow’s milk during pregnancy. Infants who exclusively breastfeed during the first three months of their life are also less prone to develop eczema.
Consuming certain foods doesn’t seem to cause eczema, although it may trigger a flare-up if you already have the skin condition. Some people who have eczema are also diagnosed with food allergies.
However, everyone is different and discovering your personal food needs is important to minimize issues with allergies and eczema. Not everyone will have problems with the foods listed below, but common food triggers and allergies associated with eczema include:
- Milk from cow
. Maintaining an eczema-friendly diet is key to overall condition management. Not everyone will have the same reactions or flare ups to the same foods.
READ ALSO: How to Get Rid of Eczema Naturally
Below is a list of foods that contain properties that may help decrease eczema flare-ups, but getting to know your body and what foods work best for you individually is key.
Foods to eat for eczema
The intake of anti-inflammatory foods may help reduce eczema symptoms. This includes:
1. Fatty fish
Eating fatty fish like herring and salmon may help reduce symptoms of eczema. Fish oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.
It’s recommended that you get at least 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily. It is best you eat it from foods than taking the supplements.
2. Foods containing quercetin
Quercetin is a plant-based flavonoid. It helps give the rich colors to many fruits, flowers, and vegetables. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and antihistamine. This means it can reduce inflammation as well as levels of histamine in your body.
READ ALSO: How Pets Can Affect Your Eczema
Foods high in quercetin include:
3. Foods containing probiotics
Probiotic foods such as yogurt, contain live cultures that help support a strong immune system. This may help reduce flare-ups or allergic reactions.
Foods rich in probiotic include:
- naturally fermented pickles
- sourdough bread
- miso soup
- soft cheeses, such as Gouda
- unpasteurized sauerkraut
READ ALSO: Top 10 Foods That Cleanse the Liver
Your best foods depend largely on any food allergies you may have been diagnosed with. Foods considered to be eczema-friendly may trigger a flare-up in those who are allergic to them.
Foods to avoid for eczema
Some foods you eat may not directly cause eczema, but can trigger an upsurge in symptoms. This is especially true if you eat a food that you’re allergic to. Common food allergies include:
- dairy products
Some foods high in trans fats also contains preservatives and artificial ingredients that may also worsen eczema symptoms. Such foods include processed food, margarine, and fast food.
Foods high in sugar may also trigger eczema flare-ups. Sugar causes your insulin levels to increase, which can result in inflammation. Food items high in sugar include:
- some coffee drinks
- some sodas
- some smoothies
- fast food items, such as burgers
Is there a specific diet plan I can follow?
Some eating plans are built on principles that you may find helpful in reducing your symptoms. There is no specific diet plan for eczema, however, consuming foods rich in antioxidants may help reduce symptoms.
This diet highlights eating:
- healthy fats, such as olive oil
It also includes red wine, which contains quercetin.
This diet plan highlights eliminating foods that increase inflammation and eating fiber-rich foods. It places emphasis on:
- whole grains
- healthy fats
- fish, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids
Dyshidrotic and elimination diets may help
The dyshidrotic and elimination diets are two other diets you might want to consider. The dyshidrotic diet is specifically for those with dyshidrotic eczema. The elimination diet may help those who don’t know what triggers their eczema.
Dyshidrotic eczema is characterized by tiny blisters on your hands and feet, its cause is unknown. Allergens, including food allergens, may influence outbreaks. Nickel and cobalt may intensify symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema. The dyshidrotic diet involves avoiding foods that contain these elements to help reduce outbreaks.
Nickel and cobalt may be found in:
- baking powder
- whole wheat
- canned foods
- whole grain
- soy products
- dried fruits
Foods high in vitamin C can help reduce absorption of these elements, so eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may also help. This includes:
- bell peppers
This diet is recommended for people who have diagnosed food allergies. If you aren’t sure what your eczema triggers are, trying the elimination diet may or may not reduce outbreaks.
If you wish to try the elimination diet, start by removing specific foods or food groups from what you eat for at least three days to see if your flare-ups subside. For best results, try removing one specific food or food group at a time.
For some people, celiac disease and eczema seem to go hand-in-hand. This may be due to the genetic link that both disorders have. Celiac disease is treated by eliminating gluten from the diet. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity in addition to eczema, you may see a real improvement in your skin if you eliminate gluten.