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Eczema Diet

Eczema is an inflammation of the skin. It causes a red, itchy rash on different parts of the body such as the face, scalp, hands and wrists. It is associated with other conditions such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and food allergy. Constant scratching can lead to the development of chronic eczema characterized by dark red, scaly patches on the skin.


There are many conflicting reports available examining the link between certain foods and eczema. Till date there is no conclusive proof that food allergies can cause eczema or that a particular diet is good for eczema sufferers.

Most dermatologists agree that allergic reactions to food are not the cause of eczema in adults and very rarely in children under the age of 4 years.

There are however, many people with eczema who claim that certain foods cause a flare up of their symptoms. This is probably an individual reaction that will vary from person to person. In such cases, doctors usually advise patients to avoid those foods that cause a flare up in their symptoms.

Foods to Include

A diet for those with eczema should be a well-balanced nutritious one. Since dry skin can aggravate the symptoms of eczema, the diet should focus on foods with high water content. Foods and nutrients that are good for people with eczema include:


  • Omega-3 fatty acids – They possess anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe skin. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed oil, parsley, salmon, trout and tuna.
  • Quercetin – It has antihistamine properties that can reduce inflammation and is also an antioxidant. Foods rich in quercetin include apples, cranberries, grapes, white grapefruit, pears, kale, garlic, spinach and green cabbage.
  • Vitamin A – It has a beneficial effect on the skin. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, calf’s liver, kale, spinach, collard greens, sweet potato and green turnips.
  • Vitamin C – It has antihistamine properties that can help reduce inflammation. It also helps to boost the body’s immune system. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, red cabbage and potatoes.
  • Vitamin E – It has a beneficial effect on skin and can help it heal faster. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, mangos, avocados, broccoli and sunflower seeds.
  • Zinc – This mineral helps strengthen the immune system. Foods rich in zinc include chicken, turkey, crab, oysters and barley.

Research is being conducted into foods that can help benefit people with eczema. Probiotic foods are one such area which shows a lot of potential. These are foods with live bacteria that are beneficial to humans such as yogurt. Research shows that certain probiotics can help relieve symptoms of eczema. These studies have been conducted in different countries using different probiotics making it difficult to say exactly which probiotics are effective. More research is needed before any conclusion can be reached.

Some studies seem to indicate that drinking black, green or oolong tea may help relieve symptoms of eczema but there is no conclusive evidence for this as yet.

Foods to Avoid

Foods to avoid for those with eczema include:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Sugar
  • Any other foods that may cause your symptoms to flare up

Diet Plan for Eczema

A diet plan for people with eczema should consist of a high proportion of fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of whole grains and animal proteins. Drinking sufficient water will help to keep the body well hydrated and prevent dry skin which can aggravate the symptoms of eczema.


Submitted on January 16, 2014