6 foods to avoid for managing eczema

Eczema is a condition that can cause dry, itchy, or inflamed skin. It is a chronic condition that is common among young children. Common triggers include irritants such as harsh soaps, environmental factors such as cold or dry weather, or allergens such as dust mites, pet fur, pollen, or mold. It is important to manage inflammation during a flare, and nutrition is essential to controlling the symptoms. Avoiding the following foods may help one manage eczema better:

Dairy products
Milk and milk products are a common group of allergens. They can worsen eczema flare-ups among those with allergies, which is why most people with eczema tend to avoid dairy products. Unless one is severely allergic, it is advisable not to eliminate dairy products without consulting a physician first, as they are an important source of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Speak to a qualified nutritionist or a doctor about replacements or alternatives for dairy products.

Egg allergy is another commonly occurring one. Children may be allergic to certain proteins found in eggs, which could trigger eczema flares. This also includes foods with eggs as an ingredient, such as baked goods. However, most egg allergies in children resolve by the age of 5. Try to maintain a food diary and talk to a certified healthcare professional regarding any symptoms caused due to eggs.

Soy products like soy milk, tofu, or edamame can trigger an immune response in those with soy allergies, leading to an increased risk of inflammation. Soy sauce is also rich in amine and MSG, which may trigger eczema and worsen flares.

Wheat is the grain used to make cereals, pasta, bread, baked goods, and more. It is also commonly added as a thickening agent to soups and candies. It contains a protein called gluten, which everyone may not easily digest. For those with gluten allergies, consuming wheat and wheat products may lead to eczema flares, hives, asthma, and digestive issues. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, it may lead to an auto-immune response, which can worsen an eczema flare.

Peanuts are also commonly known allergens, which can worsen symptoms of eczema. According to research, peanut allergies are common among toddlers with moderate-to-severe eczema and may cause several other skin reactions, such as hives, rashes, and itching as well.

Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits contain a chemical called Balsam of Peru (Myroxylon pereirae), which may trigger allergic reactions in many people. Despite the high content of vitamins in citrus fruits, they may cause inflammation and irritation among people with eczema and must be avoided.

Apart from these, those with eczema must also avoid other foods rich in nickel and cobalt, as they may worsen symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema. This condition generally affects the hands and feet. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those with a nickel sensitivity must avoid foods like cashews, chocolate, cocoa powder, licorice, shellfish, chickpeas, soy, tea, coffee, and organ meats such as the liver. Consult a trained doctor to create a daily eating plan that is free of irritants and nutritiously beneficial for those with eczema.