For starters; I do want to point out that we do not have any evidence that eczema gets worse with foods. Well, no direct evidence at least. This does not mean that it does not happen. In fact, there are many people out there who point out that they suffer from a flare-up or two when they eat certain foods. You are probably the same, hence why you ended up here. We want to look at the link between diet and eczema and provide you with advice on how you can ensure that these problems are kept to the absolute minimum.
Food Allergies and Eczema
Eczema is not a condition related to the immune system. However, it can flare-up when the immune system is triggered. Perhaps the best way to trigger that immune system is by eating foods that you are allergic too. I am not going to go into the wealth of different foods that you could potentially be allergic to here. I am positive that you are more than aware of the various foods that you can suffer an allergic reaction to.
If you are suffering from eczema, it is probably going to be worth your while to get tested for food allergies. This will provide you with advice on which foods to ignore in the future.
Check When the Flare-Ups Occur
If you want to get your eczema diet ‘on track’, then it is important that you look into which foods seem to be causing a flare-up in you. For example; if you have a flare-up after eating a specific type of food regularly, then you may wish to cut that food out of your diet. It is important to note that the foods that could trigger your symptoms may be different to what causes a flare-up in another person. This is all going to be very ‘personal’, hence we will talk about the specific foods later on this page!
The Diet Plans
Let’s see the specific diets that you can follow. I am not going to talk about any specific foods here. Instead, I wish to give you a quick overview of some of the diets that people have followed when they have noticed a positive impact on their eczema symptoms. You will likely find one or two diet plans here that will ‘catch your eye’ and, therefore, you can follow them just to see if they have a positive impact on you.
This is probably one of my favourite diets because there is so much delicious food that you can eat. This diet focuses heavily on fruits, vegetables, fish, and ‘healthy fats’. There will be a lot of Omega-3 going into your diet when you follow this plan. If you know anything about Omega-3, then you will know that it helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
The fatty ‘red meats’ are going to be trimmed back when you follow the Mediterranean diet. This is great, because most people do note that it is those red meats which are most likely to cause a flare-up of your symptoms.
This diet is going to be quite similar to the Mediterranean Diet. The main ‘difference’ is that it is going to be a bit broader. Your main goal will be to eradicate the foods that cause inflammation. These will be replaced with foods that are rich in fiber. If you follow this diet, you are likely going to be eaten a lot of the following:
- Whole grains
- Olive oil (and other healthy oils)
- Oily fish
This diet can be a touch on the ‘expensive’ side of things to follow. Well, at least ‘expensive’ when it comes to time. This is because you are going to wish to be avoiding processed foods as much as possible. This is because those processed foods are going to be high in chemicals which can trigger inflammation and, therefore, cause your eczema symptoms to flare-up.
This particular eczema diet plan is going to be fantastic if you are in the midst of a serious eczema flare-up as it can really help to tone down your symptoms somewhat.
This eczema diet plan is specifically for those who are suffering from dyshidrotic eczema, although it is likely going to be able to help those who are suffering from other forms of eczema too.
One of the main reasons as to why you may wish to follow this diet plan if you are suffering from dyshidrotic eczema is because this form of eczema is normally made worse by nickel and cobalt in your diet. Therefore, you will want to reduce this as much as possible. This diet plan is going to eliminate most processed foods from your diet, as well as a lot of wheat-based and gluten products (this includes whole wheats). It places a major focus on Vitamin C as that helps your body when it comes to absorbing the nickel and the cobalt. This means that this diet plan is going to be high in vegetables and fruits.
How About Gluten Free?
This is something that is going to be dependent on your individual symptoms. Many people who suffer from eczema flare-ups will also suffer from celiac disease. If you do, then obviously you are going to want to try and cut back on the gluten in your diet. Other than this, it is going to be a case of monitoring what your triggers are. If gluten tends to be one of your triggers then cut back on it. There is no need to do that otherwise, although some people do.
Thankfully, if you do need to go gluten-free, then you will find plenty of amazing products on the market which contain no gluten. There is likely going to be an aisle dedicated to it at your local supermarket that you can check out if you wish. Do make sure you check those products to know that they are not laden with chemicals!
Eczema Diet: Foods to Avoid
Eczema, as you know, is an inflammatory skin condition. There are several factors which can play a role in whether you suffer from eczema or not. In many cases, those who suffer from the condition have a food allergy also diagnosed. If you suffer from an allergy to one of the following products, then you are far more likely to suffer from eczema:
- Cow’s milk
- Soy products
Of course, you should try to avoid these if you are suffering from the condition. Even the most minor of allergies can cause your eczema to flare-up.
What other foods should you avoid if suffering from eczema?
Honestly, not that many. If you are avoiding foods which people tend to be most allergic to, there is little that you will need to avoid. However, there are some things which people suggest that you give a skip if you want to keep most of your symptoms at bay. That is what we want to look at in this section.
Firstly; ignore spicy foods. Completely ignore them. They cause inflammation in the body. Since you are suffering from eczema, then you are already going to be dealing with inflammation, so best not make it any worse. In addition to this, dairy products can also cause inflammation so you will want to minimize these as much as possible, particularly if you are in the midst of a flare-up.
You may also wish to cut out many of the food products in the nightshade group of vegetables. We have already covered some of the products here with ‘spicy foods’, but there are so much more that you would need to cut out. This includes tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes. Of course, plenty of foods are also packed to the brim with these vegetables too. If you can’t cut them out, and we know that you may not be able to cut them out fully, then you may at least be able to reduce them to the point where they have little to no impact on your eczema.
In addition to this, you may also wish to start cutting back on acidic foods. This means most fruits, sadly (anything that is categorized as a citrus fruit), although anything which is acidic is probably not going to be good for you!
As one final point to note; eczema is not an easy skin condition to suffer from. It is likely that there may be some foods that we have not included on this list which may cause your condition to flare-up. We suggest that you keep a record of the types of food that you are eating. If you notice that there is a change in your overall eczema, then cut it out. This goes for any potential triggers for that matter. We are not saying that you will be able to completely eliminate your symptoms, but you should be able to get them down to a manageable level.
Diet and Eczema: Foods to Eat
Above on this page, we have put together a list of foods that you should avoid eating if you are suffering from the condition. Now, let’s talk about foods that you should be eating if you are suffering from eczema. We can’t promise that they will eliminate your symptoms, but they may be able to reduce them to a more manageable point.
If you want to reduce inflammation in your body, then you need Omega-3. Yes. We know that you can get Omega-3 from nuts, but nuts can increase the risk of suffering from eczema, so it needs to be from fish. Salmon and herring will go down well here. If you really can’t stomach fish, then opt for an Omega-3 supplement. You should be getting about 6 grams of it into your diet per day.
Yes. You probably do not know what Quercetin is, but don’t worry too much about that. All you need to know that it is a flavonoid which adds color to various fruits and vegetables. It is also great as an antioxidant and even better as an antihistamine. Since eczema is nothing more than your body having something similar to an allergic reaction, then you want to reduce the amount of histamine in your body quite a lot. By doing this, you will be reducing your inflammation.
There are several foods which are awesome when it comes to treating eczema and which are high in Quercetin. These are our favourites:
Try to eat them as ‘raw’ as possible if you can. They taste a lot better and you are less-likely to have destroyed the good stuff about the food.
This is something that you probably have heard of. Probiotics are live cultures which boost the strength of your immune system. This can help to reduce the inflammation that you are suffering from due to your eczema. The best way to get probiotics into your diet is by eating a lot of probiotic yogurt. You can also eat certain soft cheese, miso soup, and even sourdough bread!
Foods rich in vitamin C
You can also consider foods which are rich in Vitamin C. This is fantastic and really does help to reduce inflammation in your body. Luckily for you, there are plenty of different options here. The most common options include berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, potatoes (although, do go easy on the potatoes), and red bell peppers (go easy on those too!)
Finally; you can also consider getting more lean meats into your diet. Do not eat fatty meats. This could make your symptoms worse. Lean meats are packed full of beneficial nutrients. This includes zinc, iron and B vitamins. They are also high in protein which has been known to help when it comes to dealing with eczema. Chicken is a fantastic meat for you to eat here!
The Bottom Line
Numerous triggers could bring on eczema-related symptoms like what you eat. There is no single diet that gets rid of eczema in everybody, yet the golden rule is to avoid the foods that seem to make the symptoms worse. Concentrate on healthy diet that’s filled with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats. This could help you stave off some or all your eczema flare-ups. If you are planning to be pregnant and eczema is in your family’s history, consult your doctor. He or she can go over some preventative measures you may take to eliminate the risk of your infant to developing the condition.