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Eczema and Foods (Eczema)
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Eczema and Foods

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This article will explore the possible connection between certain food sensitivities and allergies, and eczema. Eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic and recurring skin condition where the affected area—usually the folds of the arms, under the knees, and sometimes the face, become inflamed, appearing as blisters on dry and scaly skin. The affected area is often itchy, and if dried severely, can crack and bleed. Common food allergies include milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, seafood, fruits, chocolate, food coloring, and MSG.

The causal relations between food allergies and eczema are extremely complicated and difficult to isolate, as it varies widely from individual to individual. Additionally, food sensitivities do not always present themselves immediately, obscuring the correlation between the food allergy and the skin condition. Still, there is evidence that certain food allergies can affect eczema.

Determine whether certain foods are consistently aggravating your eczema condition. While it can certainly be incidental, paying careful attention to what you eat can give you an idea of food products that may be affecting your eczema condition. The most reliable way to test for foods is to completely remove a certain food from your diet for 6 weeks. After any traces of the food allergen has left your body, reintroduce it to your diet. Remember to test one food at a time so that you eliminate mixed evidence. If you suspect that certain foods are related to flare ups in your skin condition, avoid these foods. Your health care provider can advise you of recommended dietary changes if you can identify the foods that cause your skin trouble.

These are some common symptoms for food allergies:

  • Increased itching in the affected area
  • Redness or swelling around the mouth
  • Urticaria (fluid filled lumps on the skin)
  • Abdominal pain, itchy eyes, wheezing, sneezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Worsening of eczema and other skin conditions

Note that while food allergies are often related to eczema, in that the consumption of these foods can aggravate eczema, they are not causally linked. That is, eliminating the food in question from your diet will not cure the eczema, although the symptoms will likely be less severe if they are related. The eczema will still need to be treated separately. Consult your dermatologist for the treatment option that is best for you.

For more information, visit eczemaguide.ca.

Related:

allergies,   eczema,