There are a number of triggers that can cause eczema flare-ups. Most patients will identify these on their own and possibly take steps to avoid them. However, whether diet can cause eczema flare-ups is still a bone of contention.
For a long time, it had been held as an unprofessional myth or observation that food and eczema are closely-related. The reason is that people who have eczema are also very likely to have other allergies. It also has something to do with genetics.
However, recently, it has emerged that certain food allergies can trigger the development of the symptoms of eczema. Less than 10 percent of the children who are diagnosed with eczema have been found to have a food allergy that triggers the development of eczema flare-ups.
Children are usually the ones who have food allergies that directly cause the flare-ups.
How to tell whether your diet is influencing your eczema flare-ups?
First, if you have a food allergy that triggers the flare-ups, then you will usually experience either immediate symptoms or after eating a certain type of food up to two hours later.
The usual eczema symptoms will be redness around your mouth. For patients with darker skin, the symptom will manifest as a skin discoloration, which can be accompanied by lumps that are filled with fluid. You will also experience itchiness on the affected skin. Additionally, abdominal pains, vomiting, sneezing, and itchy eyes may be experienced.
In some cases, the symptoms will not show until after six hours of having your meal. In some cases, the symptoms will even develop after 24 hours. To tell whether you have a food allergy that triggers eczema, you will need to keep a diary over a period of about four weeks. During this period, you should record all the foods, drinks, and snacks that you eat. You will also need to record your health status and the times when you get flare-ups.
With such information, you will easily notice a pattern and understand the foods that may be causing your eczema flare-ups. This information should, however, be examined by a doctor before you decide to eliminate certain foods from your diet. It is not recommended that you leave out certain foods from your diet without the recommendation of a doctor.
Foods That Commonly Cause Eczema Flare-Ups
Food allergies that trigger eczema flare-ups are usually found in children. In most cases, children with such conditions are less than a year old. Common food allergies that trigger the condition include:
- dairy products
- nuts and seeds
- soy products
Once you find out the food allergies that can trigger your eczema, you need to consult a doctor for advice. Of course, you will eventually have to abandon the foods that trigger your eczema flare-ups since your ultimate goal is to get rid of the symptoms for as long as possible.
It is also important to remember that you might be around many triggers every day, and one of those could be the cause of your problem. Before looking into your diet, it is important to eliminate all other possible flare-up triggers.
Moreover, remember that food allergies have not been sufficiently linked to eczema flare-ups in people beyond the age of four.
The Role of Food in Episodes of Eczema
Certain foods are believed to cause eczema flare-ups. Some people complain of rashes, itchiness, and other symptoms soon after consuming a particular food. However, there is no evidence of the specific foods that are responsible for these bouts or flares.
The concept is simple – avoid foods or food groups that cause allergic reactions of any sort. By doing so, the patient ought to be doubly sure that the irritation is a result of a food item and not anything else. Sometimes, external factors or stressors might cause a bout of eczema flare-ups, which may or may not be due to food alone. Understanding the symptoms, trying to figure out what exactly is causing the allergy, and deciphering the underlying causes are important to ward off any irritants.
Consuming a diet high in fats and sugar or excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages must be avoided. These are general irritants and tend to cause more than one problem in most people. For children, having a diet loaded with the goodness of minerals, vitamins, and all the essential micronutrients are critical. Making sure they have their share of green leafy vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates is as important as having plenty of water during the day. Some of the ongoing studies claim that probiotic foods help to keep many ailments at bay. These days, an entire range of probiotic products are available in the market right from probiotic drinks and ice cream to milk and curd.
The Right Proportions for a Healthy Living
To lead a healthy life, the right amount of food is essential, as is the right amount of calories. Good sources of proteins, if incorporated in the diet, can be very beneficial. Besides these types of food, a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals is needed for the optimal functioning of the body’s systems and operation.
Some children and adults have a lesser threshold for dairy and gluten products. If they have a history of causing aggravated symptoms of any sort, they should be avoided after consultation with the doctor and dietitian. Overall, a well-balanced meal, sufficient water in the diet, and healthy levels of physical activity are needed to keep the system running smooth and disease-free.
A thorough check-up must be done from time-to-time and the routine regularized to the best extent possible. A number of fluctuations in a regular day of work and exercise could cause too many coping problems or excessive stress. Food is an integral part of one’s life. Therefore, it makes perfect sense not to ignore it, but to manage it in a cheap yet efficient manner.
Your diet is the key factor that guides your health. Make sure to eat and stay healthy by taking proper dietary measures.