What is an Eczema Diet?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Though no known cure for eczema exists, many people find relief by consuming certain foods allowed in an eczema diet plan. An eczema diet largely consists of avoiding certain trigger foods that can cause breakouts. Many common foods to avoid include eggs, nuts, wheat, gluten, and dairy products.

Wheat contains gluten, which should be avoided on an eczema diet.
Wheat contains gluten, which should be avoided on an eczema diet.

To begin an eczema diet plan, one should first keep a food journal for several days or weeks. This will help him or her determine which foods might cause eczema breakouts. Consulting a list of known eczema triggering foods and systematically eliminating them from the diet can help pinpoint exactly the foods to which the patient may have a sensitivity.

Creams can be used to treat eczema.
Creams can be used to treat eczema.

Chocolate is another common cause of eczema flare ups. Soy, shellfish, tomatoes, and citrus foods are also often listed as foods that aggravate eczema. Each individual is different, however, and it is possible that none of these foods serve as a trigger in a given individual. If an individual still wishes to try an eczema diet, he or she should continue keeping a food journal in order to discover which foods might be triggering his or her outbreaks.

Eczema is a condition where skin may be itchy, dry, and inflamed.
Eczema is a condition where skin may be itchy, dry, and inflamed.

Once the triggered foods are determined, the patient should plan on avoiding those foods. If a single food, such as shellfish or chocolate, has been identified, this may be a simple task. If an entire food group, such as dairy products, is identified, however, the process may be more complicated. People who plan on eliminating such large groups of food from their diets should work on a plan to implement other sources of nutrients as needed. In this case, if dairy is eliminated, another source of calcium may be required.

Keeping a food journal might help to identify which foods are causing outbreaks.
Keeping a food journal might help to identify which foods are causing outbreaks.

Several diet-related items that can be eliminated from the diet may also help provide eczema relief. One of the most common of these is alcoholic beverages. Salts, refined sugars, and other foods that are considered unhealthy can cause outbreaks in some people. While recording their daily food logs, sufferers of eczema may discover that foods prepared certain ways, such as fried, may cause a reaction.

People with eczema may react to certain trigger foods including dairy products.
People with eczema may react to certain trigger foods including dairy products.

While many people have found relief through an eczema diet treatment, this endeavor may not work for others. People who have difficulty managing their eczema symptoms can turn to many other resources if an eczema diet plan fails. Over the counter treatments, such as itching creams and oatmeal baths, are available in most drugstores. A dermatologist can also help people suffering from eczema determine a helpful remedy.

While an eczema diet may be be appropriate for some, it may not be effective for everyone.
While an eczema diet may be be appropriate for some, it may not be effective for everyone.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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