What to Avoid If You’re Prone to Eczema Outbreaks Dec 4, 2019 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team
If you are prone to eczema outbreaks, there are several foods that you can avoid to help prevent flare-ups. Removing foods that you are sensitive to can help you feel better.
What Is Eczema?Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become inflamed. It has several symptoms:
- Skin irritation
- Oozing blisters
- Rashes that itch
- Leathery patches of skin over time
Allergy TriggersAny type of foods that you are allergic to should be avoided. While allergens may mainly cause non-skin-related problems, they can still play a role in triggering your eczema. Some common types of allergens include dairy, nuts, soy, gluten, and eggs. If you suspect that you might be allergic to any of these foods, try removing them from your diet and then slowly reincorporating them. If you notice an increase in your symptoms after reintroducing the food, you may have discovered a food allergy.
Highly Processed FoodsSometimes foods that are high in chemicals or highly processed ingredients can also cause eczema. For example, fast food and highly processed food, such as margarine, may both be culprits. Sugar can also cause your eczema to erupt. This is because sugar can cause your levels of insulin to go up, which can trigger a flare-up. Sugar is found in obvious places, such as cakes, sodas, and other desserts. However, you can also find sugar in less obvious places too, such as smoothies, hamburgers, bread, and even condiments. If you decide to cut sugar out of your diet for a while, make sure to read the ingredient label to see if there are any sugars. Sugar can hide in ingredients too – look for names such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, and maltose.
Other Foods to AvoidGenerally, you will have an eczema flare-up about six to 24 hours after eating an allergen. It may take even longer for some foods to cause symptoms. Because it takes so long for symptoms to show up, some dermatologists may recommend an elimination diet. In this type of diet, you will stop eating certain foods and gradually reintroduce them back into your diet. After about four to six weeks, you will be able to determine if that food is causing your eczema to erupt. Some doctors may recommend that you get tested for allergies. However, even if you do not test positive for allergies, you may still be sensitive to certain foods that can be causing your eczema to flare up. Some examples of common foods you may be sensitive to include:
- Citrus fruits
- Spices, including vanilla and cinnamon