Eczema & Food Allergies – All You Need To Know

by Nazerah Tahir July 24, 2019 3 min read

Food allergy can be defined as a reaction of body's immune system to certain kinds of food items. This condition is quite frequent among children and babies and it is estimated that around 8 percent of children under the age of 5 are affected by food allergy. While most children outgrow their allergies as they grow up, some individuals continue to have food hypersensitivity reactions throughout their lives. The most typical foods that are known to stimulate allergic responses include milk, eggs, wheat, shellfish, fish, nuts like Para nut, walnut, and peanut, and food additives and preservatives.

Eczema & Food Allergies

One of the skin conditions that may arise with reaction to food allergies is eczema. A significant portion of people suffering from eczema have certain food allergies. Most of people among these are allergic to dairy products, eggs, seafood, and nuts. These foods along with sugar, gluten, alcohol etc. are a big no for the people with Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis. Consuming these foods might end up triggering your skin to cause breakouts in eczema flare ups and rashes.

According to Dr. Peter Lio, assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University in Chicago, around 30% of people with atopic dermatitis are allergic to certain foods. For some people, eating a single peanut can become fatal and for others, eating certain foods can erupt in worsening the eczema flare.

As a result, some foods should be cut from the diet when you have eczema to make sure that further breakouts and flare ups do not occur.

Understanding Food Allergy & Food Sensitivity

One of the best ways to prevent eczema from getting worse is keeping track of your food allergies and sensitivities. Before that, you need to understand the difference between the two. Food sensitivity, also known as food intolerance, occurs when a person is not able to digest certain kinds of foods. It may lead to acidity, bloating, stomachache, diarrhea etc. On the other hand, food allergy jeopardizes your immune system that affects the body organs and processes and it may even cause serious illnesses or even death.

Food intolerance may take some time to show signs while food allergies are instant in most of the cases. But in case of inflammatory diseases, food allergies also take a while to show reaction and noticeable signs. Perhaps, that’s the reason why no one could tell for exact that certain food has caused eczema breakouts to occur. Therefore, eczema occurring due to food allergies is hard to diagnose because of such delay.

There have also been the instances when someone is allergic to some foods but they allergies don’t show up in the tests. In such cases, it would be nearly impossible to tell if certain foods are triggering eczema in some individuals.

Common Food Allergies Associated With Eczema

To stay clear from eczema symptoms, it is important that you eliminate all common eczema-triggering foods from your diet. Here are most common foods that appear to trigger eczema and are regarded as the food allergens for atopic dermatitis patients:

Eggs: Around 50% of eczema patients with food allergies are reported to be allergic to eggs.

Milk: People with lactose intolerance should strictly prohibit the consumption of milk and dairy products if they have eczema. It can make eczema symptoms worse.

Soy: Soy allergy may cause symptoms such as a rashes or eczema flare ups, but also has the potential to be life-threatening with angioedema or anaphylaxis.

Wheat: Wheat allergy can also be severe at times and is different than gluten intolerance

Peanuts: Peanuts can cause mild to severe reactions among the people having eczema. It can make worst breakouts happen on the eczema flare ups. Even a small exposure to peanuts can cause the reaction.

Some of these allergies can be very hard to diagnose. It is best to stay away from there eczema food allergens to make sure you steer clear of all eczema triggers around you.

Identifying Food Allergies in Kids

Food allergies are known to cause a variety of symptoms. Some most common symptoms of food allergies in children include:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Eczema Flares
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Heartburn

Young kids and teenagers if mild, moderate, and severe eczema should be tested for food allergies especially if the eczema has not improved with the standard medical care. According to recent studies, people with eczema and egg allergy feel less itchy on an egg-free diet. Keeping away from your allergies will not only improve the symptoms in kids, but it will also prevent eczema symptoms from occurring in future provided that you stay away from other triggers as well. Nonetheless, dermatologists and eczema experts currently recommend that people with food allergies should avoid the foods that they are allergic to whether they are triggering eczema or not.