Eczema & Processed Food: Is There a Correlation?

While atopic dermatitis is not a food allergy, there is a link between the two. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), is an inflammatory skin disease marked by dry, itchy patches. Several causes, including some foods, can cause a flare. 

While there is no cure for eczema, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics can help certain diseases.

Some people with mild to extreme eczema might also have food allergies, so removing the offending foods may provide relief. Others can try an elimination diet to see if eliminating foods they are allergic to make them feel better.

What is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin disease that can be particularly uncomfortable for those who suffer. Eczema causes a slew of symptoms, including swelling, blisters, rashes, and dryness, as do other medical conditions that affect the skin.

Furthermore, eczema is caused by inflammation in the body. Because of its atopic nature, eczema has a hereditary propensity to develop other allergic conditions such as asthma or hay fever and food allergies to nuts or milk.

The immune system also has an overactive response to an irritant, resulting in inflammation, and it is this response that triggers eczema symptoms. While food does not cause eczema, it does play an essential role in controlling it, and eating the wrong foods can worsen symptoms.

Additionally, foods that may cause inflammation or flare-ups should be avoided. If you have eczema, you should avoid the following foods.

Eczema and Processed Foods

There is a solid connection between eczema and processed foods. Preservatives and artificial additives in foods can intensify symptoms of eczema. 

Furthermore, foods rich in trans fats, such as margarine, processed foods, and fast food, fall into this group. Also, sugary foods can aggravate eczema flare-ups. It happens because sugar induces a rise in insulin levels, which can contribute to inflammation.

Consuming instant noodles, meat, and processed foods were associated with increased atopic dermatitis or eczema, whereas eating rice and kimchi was associated with decreased atopic dermatitis prevalence.

Other Foods to Avoid

Diet plays a significant role in managing eczema. Here are some of the food you should avoid when you are experiencing them.

Nuts

Peanut allergies are prevalent in people who suffer from eczema. You should consider allergy tests if your child has developed allergic symptoms, such as eczema flare-ups, after eating peanut butter,  peanuts, or any other food containing peanuts.

Eggs

When eczema flares up, it’s best to avoid eggs because it’s possible to develop an allergy to them, which can trigger an inflammatory reaction. In babies and young children, eggs are another common cause of eczema flare-ups. 

If you’re trying to stop them, scrambled or fried eggs can be easy to avoid, but be careful of foods like bread and other baked goods that may contain eggs. It’s important to know that, like milk allergies, some children with egg allergies outgrow them as well.

Gluten Foods

Some people believe gluten and wheat can cause eczema flare-ups. Gluten can be found in various foods, including some unexpected ones like gummy candies, soups, and sauces, as someone with a gluten allergy can attest. 

If you think gluten is aggravating your eczema, look for the “gluten-free” mark on processed goods or read the ingredients list carefully before consuming.

Milk

One of the most common causes of eczema flare-ups in children is cow’s milk. Experts warn, however, that parents should not remove milk or milk-based items from their children’s diets regularly. 

When dairy products are excluded from a child’s diet entirely, they can develop vitamin deficiencies and other problems. You can only used this for children who have severe eczema, and your child’s doctor may want to discuss the best food substitutes to use. Any children with a milk allergy do eventually outgrow it, which is good news.

Canned Goods

Nickel sensitivity is likely if you have dyshidrotic eczema, a form of eczema. If this is the case, consuming nickel-containing foods will aggravate symptoms such as tiny blisters on your feet and hands. 

Furthermore, nickel can be present in wheat, legumes, oat, rye, chocolate, and cocoa, among other foods. However, since many manufacturers use nickel in the manufacturing of food containers, nickel can also be used in canned foods.

Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits are juicy and tasty, and they’re rich in vitamin C. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits have been known to cause allergic reactions in people. Citrus fruits contain chemicals that can aggravate eczema symptoms, so if you have eczema, you should avoid them.

Soy

Soy allergies have also been related to eczema, and some people claim that consuming foods containing soy makes their eczema worse. Start reading labels carefully if you want to avoid soy since it can be found in various unexpected foods, such as tea and even chocolate.

Foods to Eat

Whether or not you have eczema, eating whole foods and limiting refined foods’ consumption is an excellent way to eat. Non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D are ideal for reducing inflammation, increasing immunity, and potentially enhancing the inflammatory skin response.

Eczema treatment is complicated, as it involves keeping track of and managing possible causes, such as food. Also, itch elimination, better sleep, mental health problems, and proper skin care are vital aspects of management. 

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet for eczema. However, if you believe you or your child has food allergies and have not found relief from appropriate eczema treatment, food allergy testing may be needed. If food allergies are discovered, avoiding these foods can help to relieve symptoms.

Even if you or your child does not have food allergies, consuming a whole-food, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich diet is necessary for good health and longevity, as well as proper child growth. 

To keep tension at bay, stick to simple, nutrient-dense foods and simple recipes. Probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D supplementation can be beneficial in certain situations. Consult your physician or pediatrician before beginning to take supplements for yourself or your kids.

Takeaway

Processed Foods are only one factor of the many triggering causes of eczema. You must keep track of your everyday activities and the food you eat to see if anything is aggravating your symptoms. Also, take the requisite precautions to limit your exposure to certain foods or items. 

Furthermore, eating processed foods can fuel eczema, so you better stop eating those and focus on consuming healthy foods to help you with eczema.