5 foods to limit in an eczema flare up
If your eczema is giving you grief, our friend and Practicing Dietitian Amanda from Verde Nutrition has some handy hints for you.
Before we start, for those who need some education on what eczema actually is, here’s the 411:
Eczema, also referred to as Atopic Dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition. It’s characterised by rashes and itchy, dry, rough, flakey, inflamed, and irritated skin. Whilst genetics has been shown to play a prominent role in the development of eczema, research is now telling us that the severity of symptoms and frequency of flares is able to be well managed (or at least minimised) through lifestyle factors such as diet.
So, I can control my eczema through diet you ask?
Dietary triggers of eczema are highly individualised, as anyone with eczema will know! Research shows these foods commonly exacerbate eczema symptoms. Hot tip: dietary elimination and eczema management should be done with an experienced Accredited Practising Dietitian.
We never want to encourage you to completely strip out nutrients from your diet, but there are some culprits which could be making the flare worse.
Alcohol dilates blood vessels and promotes dehydration, which can worsen redness and itchiness of the skin barrier. So yes, drinking can make your eczema flare worse if you have a few too many.
These can exacerbate eczema symptoms because of their often high saturated/trans fat content, sugar content, and pro-inflammatory effect. We’re talking soft drinks, lollies, chips, chocolate, biscuits, pastries, and doughnuts. Of course, it’s okay to include these foods sometimes for enjoyment, but it’s important to moderate this and avoid them during an eczema flare.
Whilst not everyone will react to wheat, research shows the reduction of wheat is beneficial for eczema management for some. If you find you react to wheat, avoid during a flare and work with a dietitian to establish individual tolerance levels.
Similar to wheat, not everyone will react to dairy. However, the research shows reducing dairy can be effective in reducing eczema symptoms for some. If you find you react to dairy, avoid this during a flare and work with a dietitian to establish individual tolerance levels. If you do limit dairy, it is important to include fortified dairy-alternatives to meet requirements for key nutrients such as calcium.
Some people with eczema will tolerate chilli with no issues, however, it is a common culprit for worsening an eczema flare. If you’re someone that enjoys spicy food but find it worsens your eczema utilise fresh herbs, garlic, onion and citrus to flavour your meals instead.