Which Foods Cause Eczema?

Which foods cause eczema? Eczema, or dermatitis, is associated with the systemic overreacting that occurs when certain allergens are present in the system; however, it's not been proven that food allergies are the ones to blame.

What is known is that eczema is not an allergic reaction, but certain allergies can trigger a flare-up, or inflammation of the affected skin area.

The Immune Component and IgE

Dermatitis, or eczema, is a medical condition that affects the skin. It appears as red patches of dry skin, which may become flaky, scaly, and usually itch a lot.

The exact cause of the condition has not yet been discovered, but it is believed that there is a hereditary component. It is theorized that a mutation of a gene causes the skin to be prone to dryness. An immune component, a malfunction in the immune system, causes it to overreact in the presence of certain allergens.

Current investigations into the immune system malfunction are concentrated on an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which plays a part in the way our bodies react to the presence of pollen, fungus spores, and animal dander. It was shown that a number of people with atopic dermatitis have an elevated level of that antibody in their blood.

Allergy Triggers for Eczema

Allergens can only be considered to be a trigger for eczema, and not a cause. Other triggers include irritants, stress, and a combination of external factors, such as heat and excess moisture.

When it comes to food allergies, they trigger an eczema flare-up in a little less than one child out of ten. That means that, among ten children with eczema, there will be one that has a food allergy that can trigger a flare-up. It is more likely to be a child with severe eczema than a child with a mild or moderate eczema.

So, which foods cause eczema? The foods that are usually listed as possible triggers are:

  • Cow's milk
  • Wheat
  • Soya
  • Nuts
  • Eggs

Food allergies rarely cause flare-ups in adults, but it is possible. Removing a food from the diet, without being sure whether or not it triggers flare-ups, is not a good idea. If there's a suspicion that there is an allergy to a food, and that the allergy causes eczema flare-ups, it is important to see a doctor and determine whether it's true or not before doing anything else.

Determining Food Allergies

Skin prick tests and blood tests can be used to determine whether or not an allergy triggers the symptom of eczema. When i was a child i had a allergy skin test which identified several areas of food to stay away from. Afterwards, whenever i had eaten those foods i had a flare-up of eczema.

Consider talking to your doctor about keeping a diary of when flare-ups occur, the severity and what was eaten at that time. Also if skin prick tests and blood tests are vague, consider an oral food challenge.


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