Diet and Nutrition

Will My Diet Induce Eczema?

Will My Diet Induce Eczema?

Key Takeaways

  • It is not clear whether or not the foods you eat influence eczema flare-ups.
  • If a doctor notices that when you eat certain foods the skin condition becomes prominent, he or she may recommend you eliminate that food from your diet.

Irritation and itching are two common symptoms of eczema. Whether diets are helpful to alleviate these symptoms is still not yet clear. Many studies that tried to associate diet and eczema have had contradictory results. Some studies show that eczema is related to food allergies, but many people with skin conditions do not have a food allergies. There is no clear evidence to suggest that an individual's diet can cause eczema.

“Eczema may be caused by food allergies in young children, but in children above the ages of 3-years-old or 4-years-old, it is rare”, says Donald V. Belsito, professor of clinical dermatology at Columbia University. Food allergies may result in hives and other skin reactions. Often, food allergy tests in children may give positive results even when the child does not have any type of allergy. So, checking for food allergies when a child has eczema may not be helpful, suggests Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, chief of Pediatric Dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. A food allergy test may not be recommended for everybody. In some severe cases of eczema, the doctor may suggest a food allergy test for the child.

In adults, there is no clear evidence that reveals that eating a certain kind of food may aggravate or lead to eczema. However, “flare-ups may occur for some individuals”, says Andrea Cambio MD, the medical director of Cambio Dermatology in Southwest, Florida. If a person reports that a particular food induces the symptoms of eczema, doctors may recommend cutting down or eliminating that specific food. According to Cambio, people are exposed to a number of triggers every day, and it is very difficult to pinpoint one particular food as the cause for eczema. It has been said that stress can lead to eczema flare-ups.

Some studies show that probiotics relieve the symptoms of eczema in children. Probiotics are used in yogurts and other supplements, but it is not clear what type of probiotic may be helpful in controlling the condition. 

Tea is another food being studied for its benefit in controlling the symptoms of eczema. Some studies report that drinking black, green, or oolong tea helps in relieving the symptoms of this skin condition. Omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat present in fish and fish oil, are also studied for its benefits.

Anybody with eczema should ideally have a healthy diet, as a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains is very good for the overall health. This chronic skin condition can be improved with a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.