Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a condition where the skin becomes inflamed or irritated. The cause of eczema is unknown but may be an overreaction by your immune system.
Treatments are hit or miss. What exacerbates eczema is individual to each person. The only thing everyone can agree on is that eczema is itchy.
About 10 to 20% of infants and 3% of children and adults suffer from eczema. Many children outgrow eczema by their 10th birthday. For some people, the condition continues.
Food can either be healthy for your body or will cause a flare up. It is very personal.
Common Food Allergies and Eczema
If you are allergic to certain foods. People with allergies to cow’s milk, eggs, soy products, gluten, nuts, fish, and shellfish may see a flare up when exposed to these.
Other foods include peanuts, corn, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Try keeping a food diary to see if you can pinpoint a food or two that are causing your symptoms. Your doctor may have you try an elimination diet to more accurately nail down sensitivities.
Drink Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant. When not fermented, it is a green tea, fully fermented, it is black tea. Oolong is partially fermented. You’ll find it in most grocery stores. It is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, both powerful antioxidants.
Studies in Japan found that drinking oolong tea helped with itching and eczema in just one week. It has other health benefits as well. Don’t add sugar or milk or you may offset effectiveness.
Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce symptoms. Foods include oily fish like salmon, shellfish like oysters, cod liver oil, peanut butter, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, omega-3 enriched eggs, grass fed beef, and spinach.
Use healthy oils like olive and flaxseed to cook with. Chia seeds are included in many holistic diets and even if they are not a cure, they are extremely healthy. You can also take omega-3 supplements – just make sure they aren’t made from foods you are sensitive to.
Sugar is bad for you even if you don’t have eczema. drop sugar out of your diet. Sugar causes insulin spikes which result in inflammation that may be a cause of eczema.
Sugar includes white flour, white rice, pastries, cakes, sodas, and many prepared foods. Sugar has at least 56 different names.
Don’t replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. These are not good for you on many levels and may cause flareups as well.
What is Quercetin? It is a flavonoid or plant pigment. It is an antioxidant and antihistamine. That means it can fight inflammation and the histamine response that may contribute to eczema.
Foods high in quercetin include apples, blueberries, cherries, broccoli, spinach, and kale. All these foods are very healthy for you and are worth eating to support your body.
Heal a Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is a condition where the intestines are more permeable than normal, allowing food particles to “leak.” This causes histamine (allergic) reaction. It is a condition like eczema (and may be related to it) in that doctors know it exists but don’t know why.
To heal a leaky gut, remove these foods from your diet: grains, refined sugar, refined oils, synthetic food additives, pesticides, and dairy products. Limit tap water and talk to your doctor about limiting NSAIDs and antibiotics.
Eat Good Bacteria
Focus on eating probiotic foods. These are high in healthy bacteria (probiotics) that will set up house in your gut and help you stay healthy. Probiotic foods include sourdough bread, miso soup, naturally fermented pickles, soft cheeses, such as Gouda, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kefir, and tempeh.
try some Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is lower in calories and sugars but higher in protein and has a lot of probiotics. Avoid yogurt with added sugar, fruit flavorings, amines, and annatto.
Avoid Grapes, Oranges, and Kiwi Fruit
Grapes, kiwi fruit, and oranges are all high in salicylates and amines. These are known to cause itchiness is sensitive people. They are also highly acidic which can also cause an eczema outbreak. Be aware that your itch response may take three days to appear. A food diary will help you identify if these fruits are an issue.
Avoid wine and fruit juices. Both can contain MSG and grapes are sprayed with MSG before shipping.
If you have eczema, you have some sort of inflammation. Do your best to eat foods that do not encourage inflammation. Foods that are anti-inflammatory are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, and food high in omega-3.
Avoid refined carbohydrates like white flour, fried food, sweetened drinks, red meat and processed meat, and margarine or lard.
Certain foods are less likely to cause an allergic reaction in most of the population. Focus on those while you look for possible culprits among the highly allergenic foods listed above.
Hypoallergenic foods include apples, pears, squash, cucumbers, kale, Brussels sprouts, celery, lettuce, zucchini, beets, bananas, blueberries, apricots, and turnips
Eczema is a very unpleasant medical skin condition. It is itchy, frustrating, and hard to heal. The exact causes of eczema are unknown, but it seems to be an allergic response. If you can discover what Is triggering the allergies, you may be able to heal your eczema.
Only oolong tea has been noted to help stop the itchiness. No one diet fits everyone, but there are foods you probably need to avoid, like gluten and milk.
Will it help? It may or may not, but it is worth the effort to try. Try a food log, eat an anti-inflammatory diet and try to heal a leaky gut.