Eczema is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis, but it is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions.
These include dryness and recurring skin rashes which are characterised by one or more of these symptoms: redness, swelling, itching, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding.
Eczema is not an allergy itself, but allergies can trigger eczema. It occurs in both children and adults, and although there is no known cause for the disease, it often affects people with a family history of allergies.
About one in every ten kids develops eczema. Typically, symptoms appear within the first few months of life, and almost always before a child turns five. But the good news is that more than half of the kids with eczema today will be over it by the time they’re teenagers.
Many people wonder if foods cause eczema – they don’t. However, some foods can aggravate eczema. For some sufferers, it can be intolerance of foods that cause it.
Dairy/milk and wheat products, acidic fruits, eggs, nuts, seafood, chemical food additives, preservatives and colourings are the most common foods that ‘cause’ eczema. However, since every individual is different, it is possible that almost any food can trigger a reaction in any given individual.
While you could limit or restrict your consumption of these eczema trigger foods, it is best to document your reactions to each one individually.
And since the link between food choices and eczema is so strong it is commonly thought that dietary changes can in fact help treat this uncomfortable condition.
In order to determine the foods causing eczema, you need to do an elimination diet. First remove the suspect food or food chemical, in all its forms, from your diet. After a period of time, reintroduce the food.
If there has been an improvement and, on reintroducing the food, the eczema returns, then that food is not safe for you to eat. But if there is no reaction to the food, then it is safe for you to consume.
In most cases, there can be several factors causing your eczema, and this because your immune system is not functioning properly. Therefore, one of the best ways to treat your eczema is to build up your immune system.
To get the most out of a healthy eating plan be sure to consume plenty of raw fruits and vegetables – these supply antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and lead to better overall skin health.
Include food choices, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts that are high in fatty acids. These foods will help reduce the inflammation associated with eczema.
Also make sure that your diet plan includes adequate hydration. By drinking more than the recommended eight glasses of water each day you can make sure that your skin is properly hydrated. This boosted hydration can help prevent the dryness that is sometimes a trigger for eczema flare-ups.
By combining the healthy choices above and faithfully keeping a food diary you can quickly and effectively be on your way to controlling your eczema, through your diet.