Eczema (or atopic dermatitis) is a skin condition that causes patches of dry, itchy skin on the body. The skin irritation, rashes, oozing and blistering can be extremely uncomfortable.

There’s no cure for eczema, but over-the-counter creams and medications are typically used to decrease inflammation and soothe atopic dermatitis breakouts. Additionally, there are certain foods that may trigger an individual’s eczema.

Eczema’s link to food

According to the National Eczema Association (NEA), food allergies are considered an official comorbidity (related health condition) of eczema. Researchers have found that up to 30% of people with AD also have food allergies, Dr. Peter Lio, founding director of Chicago Integrative Eczema Center told the NEA.

Along with actual food allergies come food sensitivities. For some people, certain foods trigger an immune system reaction that leads to an inflammatory eczema breakout.

A 2014 study found that food-sensitive eczema reactions typically occurred about six to 24 hours after a particular food was consumed. Sometimes, the reactions were delayed even longer.

Because of this, some doctors recommend elimination diets to figure out which foods are causing atopic dermatitis.

Keep in mind that this is done very methodically under the supervision of a medical professional. Before any foods are deemed “triggers,” an individual will need to slowly add each food type back into their diet over four to six weeks.

If the person’s atopic dermatitis gets worse after adding a particular food back into their diet, they may choose to avoid the food going forward. If the symptoms don’t improve after eliminating a food, that food probably isn’t a trigger.

Foods that may be avoided by eczema-sufferers

Some common foods that are known to trigger eczema flare-ups are:

  1. Dairy
  2. Eggs
  3. Citrus fruits
  4. Gluten or wheat
  5. Soy
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Spice such as cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves
  8. Some types of nuts

Because some people find that their eczema improves when certain foods are eliminated, consider talking to your doctor about making dietary changes and monitoring the results. It’s important to always consult with a health care professional before making any drastic changes to your diet, as this method is not suitable for everyone.

Watch this