Sometimes skin conditions can be caused or exacerbated by allergic reactions to certain foods. Eczema is the perfect example of a health condition which is affected by allergic reactions.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is first seen in infants or small children. It can affect any part of the body but generally appears on the arms, hands, feet, or behind the knees. In infants, small raised, itchy bumps can be found on the wrists, ankles face, neck, upper chest around the eyes or on the eyelids. If scratched these bumps can break, causing fluid to leak out and the bumps to crust over.
Sometimes, the bumps will be red to brownish-gray colored patches that come and go on the skin. The skin is very raw and may appear thicken or scaly. It is important to watch products and clothing that are placed on the skin to minimize any itching or discomfort. All cotton clothes, mild cleaning detergents and cleaning agents are key. Read clothing labels to avoid harsh chemicals and wools. Avoid hot water from baths or showers.
One of the most significant factors to help correct eczema is dietary factors. I have seen patients with eczema who improve their diet and see their skin clear and pain and itching alleviated.
There have been several studies that show correlations between food sensitivities or food allergies and eczema. The foods that cause the most trouble for people with this condition are dairy and wheat products. Dairy products include anything that comes from a cow: milks, cheeses, yogurts and food derived from dairy products can trigger an outbreak. Wheat products include breads, pastas, crackers, many cereals and most baked goods. If a patient has other food sensitivities or allergies those allergies must be addressed to address the skin problems. The digestive tract can usually become damaged from the allergies and sensitivities so I work with my patients to create a healthy whole food diet to help begin the repair process. I have them take probiotics to rebalance the gut flora or environment and support the repair process as well.