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Are there any foods to help eczema?

I have suffered from eczema ever since I was a child, and it goes through stages of being better (usually warm weather is good). However, I was wondering if there are any foods which should be avoided or foods to stick to in order to make it better. I have it all over my fingers, which is really annoying, and I think quite ugly, and would really like to get it under control!
Thanks, SBW


Our expert says...


Eczema is often associated with food allergies and intolerances and you may have already made a link between certain foods and your eczema flaring up. There are some common culprits. You may want to try removing these from your diet for a few weeks to see if there is an improvement: milk; eggs; wheat; red meat; sugar; tea; coffee and alcohol. Others foods that have been known to cause problems in some people are peanuts, chocolate and citrus fruits.

You could try taking them all out of your diet for a week or two (if you are brave enough!) and then reintroducing them one at a time, leaving a week between each reintroduction, or you could remove one at a time and monitor your eczema. I also suggest that you use the 'My Notes' section on your Food Diary when doing this to jot down any significant improvements or flare ups - that way you have a record of your food intake when it occurred, which may help you to pinpoint a culprit.

Alternatively, you might want to consider food intolerance testing done at a laboratory from a pin-prick of blood you take at home (for example www.yorktest.com). This is more expensive, but a lot quicker and very accurate.

On a more positive note, there are foods which can help. Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna (not tinned) and sardines contain Omega 3 oils which are known to calm inflammatory conditions. If you don't like fish, or don't want to eat it 2-3 times a week, I would recommend a fish oil supplement. Vegetable oils, nuts (other than peanuts) and seeds can have a similar calming influence.

Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory and you may want to consider trying a supplement to see if this helps.

Apart from diet, other common sources of irritation include pollens, pets, wool and synthetic fibres, washing powders, nickel, rubber and the house dust mite. But I expect by now you have worked out the triggers for your attacks.

Eczema is a difficult condition to control, but I hope I have given you some new ideas to try.

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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