Eczema and Food Allergies

Can the dry, itchy skin of eczema be related to food allergies? You might be surprised. Learn how what you eat can affect your skin.

Is Eczema Related to Food Allergies?

Researchers have been surprised, not to discover the long-suspected connection between eczema and food allergies, but to find out that eczema is not actually caused by food allergies—rather, it appears to be the reverse. Those with eczema are at risk of later developing food allergies. Eczema flare-ups may be triggered by some common food allergens such as nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat, but it now appears that eczema itself may be the cause of these food allergies, not the reaction.

According to the newest studies, close to 81 percent of people with eczema were found to have a food allergy.

How Does Having Eczema Lead to Food Allergies?

Studies seem to strongly suggest that because the barriers of the dermis are in a weakened state due to rash and scratching, this breakdown of the skin’s barriers allows proteins from foods in the environment to sensitize the immune system. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases have discovered that children who have both eczema and food allergies have a difference in the molecular structure of the healthy-appearing skin near the site of an eczema lesion, and yet children with only eczema don’t have this structural variation.

Children with food allergies are constantly at risk of life-threatening reactions due to accidental exposure to their allergen. Because it’s now known that a child with eczema has a serious risk factor to develop food allergies, it’s important to note that protecting the skin from eczema flare-ups may be a way to also protect a child from developing food allergies.

Another study took place in Denver at National Jewish Health, which tested children with both eczema and peanut allergies against children with only eczema. The results of this study indicated that the skin of the rash itself was normal in both cases, but the healthy skin without rash near the eczema lesions in those children with both eczema and peanut allergy showed a structural difference that indicated less of an ability to retain water and had an overabundance of a specific bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus.

The findings are important because they indicate a possible way to learn if a child is at risk of developing life-threatening food allergies. It also reinforces the benefits of keeping skin moisturized with your choice of one of the best eczema cream options available today to prevent skin-compromising eczema flares.

Eczema and Food Triggers: what to know

While eczema rash flare-ups do not react like a typical allergic reaction, many people have noticed that their eczema outbreaks can be triggered by specific foods. Some common foods which seem to trigger eczema are eggs, milk, soy, peanuts, and wheat. All of these foods are present in many foods, making it difficult to isolate and determine what has caused an eczema flare-up. Other eczema sufferers have noticed that their eczema is triggered by foods that are not on the common food allergy list, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and certain spices including vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves.

A food diary and practiced elimination diet can be used to more specifically identify food triggers and eczema outbreaks. Food-triggered eczema outbreaks will typically occur six to twenty-four hours after consuming the food.

what Foods can Help Control Eczema?

Just as certain foods seem to trigger eczema, there are other foods that appear to relieve eczema and reduce flare-ups. For instance, probiotics such as those found in yogurt seem to relieve eczema in children.

While studies are ongoing and not yet conclusive, there are studies that indicate green, black, or oolong tea may have beneficial effects for both children and adults with eczema.

Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish and fish oil have anti-inflammatory benefits which can help relieve eczema symptoms.

how to Eliminate Other eczema Triggers

Besides foods, some eczema outbreaks are triggered by environmental factors such as heat, humidity, sweating, dust, pollen and even stress. Cold weather and dry skin can also trigger outbreaks. Dermatologists recommend keeping your skin moisturized at all times. It’s helpful to moisturize twice a day with one of the best eczema cream products available today. These eczema creams work best when used within minutes of bathing or showering so that moisture is locked into dry skin.

Because research shows that frequent eczema outbreaks affect the integrity of the skin barrier and can cause the development of food allergies, it’s critical to keep skin moisturized and protected with a good eczema cream and to identify and avoid triggers.

Resources— NIH, WebMD, MedicalNewsToday, VeryWellHealth

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