Eczema is a skin disorder that causes itching and redness. Although the cause of eczema remains undetermined, some experts believe that food allergies may play a role. Thus, in some cases, modifying one's diet could improve eczema symptoms.
Anyone can try to avoid one or two foods over a short period of time, but major diet modifications, especially in children, should always be supervised by a dietician...
Diet-related measures should never replace treatments (creams or ointments) prescribed by a physician!
Certain foods have been linked to eczema, although this may not be the case for everyone. You could try to avoid these foods for a while to see if your symptoms improve. If there is no improvement within 3 weeks, reintroduce them to your diet. The following foods have been linked to eczema:
- Dairy products (cow milk)
- Giblets (heart, liver, kidneys)
- Shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels)
- Food coloring
If eczema symptoms improve when you avoid these foods, reintroduce them to
your diet, no more than one at a time, to determine which food, if any, is
Children under the age of 5 years need the nutrients found in cow's milk and other dairy products. Enriched soy beverages with calcium and vitamin D or adapted infant formula should be used when a child has to avoid cow's milk. Breastfeeding mothers can continue to nurse. The mother however, may benefit from consulting a qualified professional (dietician, physician) who can go over her diet in an effort to prevent allergens that could have an adverse effect on the child through the mother's milk.
Some studies have suggested that regular use of evening primrose oil may reduce the itching caused by eczema. This oil contains gamma-linoleic acid, a precursor of an anti-inflammatory agent found in the body. Evening primrose oil cannot be found in food, but supplements are available. The efficacy of evening primrose oil has not been determined, but these supplements are not associated with any side effects.
Always watch your diet: it has a strong impact on your health!
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.