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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can food allergies make eczema worse?

    I have been told by my doctor that it is very rare for a food allergy to cause my eczema however I have seen a naturopath who has said that there is a definite link between food and eczema in many cases (including mine). Is there really a food link?
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  • Peta Adams

    Dietitian

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian locally born and working within the Riverina.I have a passion for helping people to achieve their nutrition goals, coaching ... View Profile

    The answer is yes, many expert Allergy Dietitians out there will agree that diet is one of the contributing factors that affect eczema when considered in the “total body load”.

    The Total Body Load refers to all the external and internal factors that affect the body and can contribute to allergic conditions. For example you may notice that eczema gets worse during “hayfever season” when pollen is around or when you are particularly stressed at work and also if you wear a new perfume. 

    Eczema has not noted to flare up from both natural and added food chemicals such as amines, glutamates, salicylates and colours. Some common food triggers include citrus, tomato, spicy foods, fruit juice and tomato and often the symptoms are very obvious after a party where you may consume lots of strong flavoured snack foods, alcohol/soft drinks and pizza.

    Whilst diet is not the only factor that affects eczema, it is one factor that we are able to control, unlike many external stimuli (temperature, pollens, smells etc) and food iinvestigation to help to reduce the total body load and make eczema more manageable.

    I recommend you contact a local dietitian specialising in food intolerance to help guide you through this process.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Prof Ron Walls

    Pathologist (Immunologist)

    Food allergies can make eczema worse, especially in young children. But these allergies must be properly diagnosed and food items should not be automatically removed from the diet without careful and reliable testing. There is a tendency to just automatically remove milk and wheat from the diet, and there is no justification for this. In fact, it can be harmful, especially in a
    young child, where milk is unnecessarily withdrawn from the diet. Sometimes food color or other additives can also aggravate the symptoms of eczema. Food allergies can make eczema worse, but they don't do so in all cases.

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