While food doesn’t cause eczema it can be a trigger. There are two types of foods that are commonly related to eczema flare ups and removing these foods out of the diet can be beneficial to those affected. The foods that cause problems for some sufferers are:
  • Cow’s milk
  • Egg
  • Food colouring
  • Wheat
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Peanuts
Food allergies can cause eczema flare ups in a couple of ways. The first is an immediate reaction that will occur within a couple of hours of consuming the food. The skin will begin itching and go red as the food reacts with the IgE antibody in the blood. Prick tests can be taken to identify the IgE antibody and food allergy problems affecting the eczema.

The second reaction is delayed and can take up to two days for the eczema to get worse. After consuming the trigger food the skin will slowly begin to get redder and itch more. Unlike the immediate reaction it is thought that the immune cells within the skin react with the food.  There isn’t a suitable skin prick test that can be performed that will predict the reaction the skin will have with food. Therefore the solution usually revolves around removing the food types to see if there is an improvement.

Eating a Balanced Diet

When you remove foods such as cow’s milk, wheat and eggs from a diet will affect the nutritional balance that is being received. Removing the food might seem like the right step to make but according to the there is a risk of a severe reaction once the food is reintroduced, unless the allergy is already extreme (anaphylaxis).  If the allergy is only results in eczema flare ups one option is to read labels and look for foods that may contain traces of the food trigger.  

If you suspect that foods are causing problems with eczema the best thing to do is go and speak to your GP. They will be able to suggest suitable actions to take that will ensure a balanced diet is still obtained.