- Posted June 13, 2013 by
FOODS TO TREAT ECZEMA
If you have eczema, you want to do all you can to try to stop the irritation and itching it can cause. So you may be eager to try eczema diets promoted in books or on the Internet.
Salmon and Other Omega 3s
Go figure: The creatures that sport the ultimate scaly skin are those that offer some of the best protection. Salmon and other fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which give our bodies the ability to grow new skin, prevent inflammation, and stave off conditions like eczema.
A staple in Chinese pantries, oolong teat tastes like a cross between robust black tea and more bitter green tea. In a month-long study in Japan, people with eczema who drank three cups of oolong tea felt relief from their itching in just one week.
Yogurt with Live Cultures
The beneficial bacteria in these yogurts (and other fermented foods such as kefir) benefit the immune system, especially the many immune cells located in the intestinal tract. The “good” bacteria (a.k.a. probiotics) seem to affect inflammation and stimulate the body to produce certain white blood cells and antibodies as well as various growth factors that are important for keeping the body from overreacting to allergens.
Diet and Eczema in Children
"Some young children have eczema caused by allergic reactions to certain foods," says Donald V. Belsito.
MD. Belsito is professor of clinical dermatology at Columbia University. "But after age 3 or 4, eczema caused by foods is very rare. Food can cause hives and other skin reactions, but not eczema."
If you are concerned that a food allergy is playing a role in your child’s eczema, talk with your doctor. Although you can have your child checked for food allergies, the results are often not reliable.
"Positive results [to food allergy tests] are very common, even if your child doesn’t have an allergy," says Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, chief of Pediatric Dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. "So while it’s sometimes helpful for children with severe eczema, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone."
Diet and Eczema in Adults
Although some adults report having worse eczema symptoms after eating certain foods, no studies have been able to establish a link.
"There is no science linking certain foods with flare-ups. But it can be an individual thing," says Andrea Cambio MD, FAAD. Cambio is the medical director of Cambio Dermatology in southwest Florida. "For example, if a patient reports eating chocolate makes her eczema worse, then I would advise her to cut down or eliminate chocolate from her diet." Be sure to talk to your health care provider before eliminating any food from your diet, and before going on a special diet.
Cambio cautions that it is not always easy to figure out what’s making eczema flare. "Because we are exposed to many potential triggers in a given day, it is often hard to tell. Sometimes, it may seem to the patient that certain foods are making eczema symptoms worse. But then we find that something else, like stress, is actually the culprit."