Eczema Outbreaks

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
While this condition is most common in young children, it can also affect adults and older children. It is not entirely known what causes the condition, although it is believed that environmental factors can play a role in causing outbreaks. The underlying causes of eczema are not treatable. However, by avoiding certain triggers, you may be able to reduce the number of outbreaks that you get. Here are a few foods that you should avoid if you have eczema.

Allergy Triggers

Any 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 Foods

Sometimes 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 Avoid

Generally, 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:
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Soy
  • Spices, including vanilla and cinnamon
  • Nuts
One type of eczema that affects the hands and feet is known as dyshidrotic eczema. This type of eczema can be triggered by eating foods with nickel in them. Avoiding these types of food can help prevent flare-ups. For example, if you have dyshidrotic eczema, you should avoid black tea, canned meats, and seeds.

Closing Thoughts

You might find that removing some foods from your diet can help reduce eczema outbreaks. Making changes can help you slowly determine your food sensitivities. For more dermatology questions or concerns, please visit our website or call 402-423-1111!

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