Eczema is not an infection but a skin condition. Like other health conditions, flares are triggered by different factors and products. Allergens are one of the main triggers.
Specific foods and diets result in allergic reactions in some people. It is for this reason that many researchers and trials have embarked on finding the link between diet and eczema. Unfortunately, experts are yet to agree on whether changes in diet are effective treatment options for eczema.
Diets and meal plans do not cause eczema. They can, however, encourage flare-ups or worsen the symptoms of eczema. Inclusion of healthy food products in meals will not cure eczema but encourages recovery.
Diet and eczema facts on cause and treatment
Before going through the best diet for eczema and the foods to avoid when dealing with eczema, let’s first go through some diet and eczema facts:
- Food products do not cause eczema.
- Eczema flares may result from allergic reaction to certain foods such as gluten, dairy products, seeds and nuts. Contact with acidic or preserved foods will encourage cases such as eczema under lower lip.
- Diet recipes that may trigger eczema do not necessarily mean that they will be unhealthy diet plans. For instance, citrus fruits or even avocados are generally regarded as healthy food products. They can, all the same, trigger eczema flares.
- A good eczema diet plan will likely succeed in managing the symptoms of eczema such as inflammation. Fish oil and vitamins D, E supplements are most notable.
- Lack of vitamin D during pregnancy and in children has been found to encourage cases of eczema. It therefore follows that a diet plan with a lot of vitamin D during pregnancy and during childhood is advisable.
- The link between diet and eczema is a complicated one. For this reason, it is hard, even for professionals, to come up with a specific best diet for eczema treatment.
Eczema diet food list to avoid
Any of the foods mentioned below will not cause eczema. There also is no guarantee that avoiding the same will ease eczema symptoms. But for the good it may do, consider keeping away from the following eczema diet food list, especially if you are allergic to the items on it:
Quite a number of people are allergic to dairy products. They include; milk, whey, yogurt and cheese. Most people are more sensitive to diary products derived from cows compared to goats and sheep.
Seeds and nuts
Peanuts are notorious allergy triggers in some people. Avoid commercial products containing them if you are allergic to the same. Other examples of nuts that may trigger eczema include almond nuts, cashew nuts, walnuts and pine nuts.
Soy is increasingly becoming an ingredient in many commercial food products. Always make a point of noting if a commercial food product you are using contains any traces of soy products. This is especially important if you are allergic to soy products.
Gluten is a form of protein found in wheat, rye, barley among other grains. A gluten-free diet is encouraged when dealing with existing or potentially likely cases of eczema flare-ups.
Eggs are rich in proteins, just like many of the products on the list of foods to avoid for eczema. Chicken eggs are the worst for eczema flare-ups, compared to quail or goose eggs.
Citrus fruits are highly acidic. They should be avoided in large amounts in diets when preventing eczema flares.
Other foods to include in eczema diet food list to avoid include:
- Pasta sauce
Other eczema diet food list and diet plan to avoid
The food list above focuses on foods that may trigger flares due to allergic reaction. Some diet recipes may trigger flare-ups due to irritation and inflammation. They include:
Sugary food products
Processed sugar is known to cause inflammations, especially in people with diabetes. Foods with processed sugar include sodas, fast foods, and cakes among others.
Eczema can be triggered by irritation due to preservatives contained in some food products. The same can be said about some artificial ingredients.
Gluten based diets
Most people are not aware of the fact that gluten is a potential trigger factor for eczema. Especially for eczema in toddlers, a gluten free diet is best maintained when dealing with eczema.
Best healthy diet for eczema
As briefly mentioned earlier, there is no single best diet for eczema. However, the following approaches can help you to come up with a healthy diet for eczema:
This approach involves eliminating certain food products from your diet recipes. After a certain trial period, results will determine if the eliminated food product was involved in triggering flare-ups. It will be necessary that any other possible trigger be kept away from for best results.
A Mediterranean diet focuses on maximizing fruits, vegetables and organic food products such as olive oil. This is done along with the exclusion processed and sugary food products.
Use of probiotics
Probiotics are a synonym for healthy bacteria. Ironically, dairy products such as yogurt are rich in probiotics. Studies have shown that children born to pregnant women on probiotics during pregnancy have a lower risk of developing eczema. Probiotics are popularly considered for eczema neck rash treatment.
Acid-free diet recipes
A good eczema diet plan ought to be largely acid-free. This can be achieved by increasing the content of vegetables in diet recipes and eradicating spices, preservatives and meat.
Even if you are not allergic to foods such as diary products, soy, eggs, nuts and gluten, reducing their contents in diet recipes may help with eczema treatment. Such foods can be replaced with fruits and vegetables.
Foods to include in eczema diet plan
A good number of foods have been observed to boost eczema treatment as well as reduce chances of flares. They include:
Fatty fish such as salmon contain loads of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids boost immunity and also fight inflammations. If not available, fish oil supplements can be considered. In fact, fish oil supplements are richer sources of fatty acids.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. They also boost immunity as well as reduce body acidity. Good examples include:
- Brussels sprouts
Oolong tea is rich in flavonoids, compounds that fight inflammation and free radicles. The tea has been observed to fight the itchiness caused by eczema rash.
Eczema diet plan for children and pregnant women
Eczema is most common in children. In fact, atopic eczema, the most common type of eczema, usually develops in the first six months after birth. Hormonal fluctuations experienced during pregnancy are also a great eczema trigger.
Studies have found that deficiency in vitamin D during pregnancy increases chances of the child developing eczema. For this reason, it is advisable that diets rich in vitamin D be considered during pregnancy.
Probiotics work by boosting immune system in pregnant women and children. A breastfeeding diet rich in probiotics may reduce chances of atopic eczema in infants and children. Caution should be taken in case you are allergic to dairy products.
Vitamin C is another compound very important in skin health. The vitamin also inhibits absorption of cobalt and nickel, two metals that trigger eczema flare-ups.
Generally, a healthy diet for eczema when pregnant, breastfeeding or in children revolves around eradication of hyperallergic foods, sticking to a gluten free diet, and avoiding sugary and processed foods. Instead, a lot of vegetables, fruits and organic oils are to be added in diet recipes.
It is always advisable to approach a doctor or a professional when planning to be or when pregnant. For one, most cases of eczema are reported in children. Also, children are prone to eczema infections, including eczema herpeticum. This is a very serious type of eczema, which is potentially fatal. More details on what is eczema herpeticum may prove helpful.
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