Eczema and Diet

By on August 20, 2006

Eczema and diet are related. You can prevent eczema flareups through careful management of your diet. One such way is by identifying food triggers that cause your eczema to flare-up. As not all triggers are the same for everyone, you will need to determine what your food triggers are. The other way is to ensure that you have an adequate supply of nutrition that supports good healthy skin. Many eczema patients are found to be deficient in certain essential vitamins and supplements. Ensuring an adequate supply can help reduce the incidence of skin inflammation and dry skin.


Certain foods can be a trigger for an eczema flare-up. This can be learned through a simple process of trial and error. You will need to be observant about your skin reactions after consuming a food. If you eat something and eczema happens so after, then do not eat it again.

The most well-known food triggers include cow’s milk, wheat, shellfish, peanuts, eggs, soy, corn, oranges and food preservatives (for example, MSG). Hence, cakes that use wheat flour, cow’s milk and eggs as ingredients should be off your menu. These food triggers are pretty common among many eczema patients.

You may experience an immediate eczema reaction within a period of two hours of eating a trigger food. Or at other times, you may experience a delayed sensitivity which means that the eczema reaction will only show itself from six to twenty-four hours after eating a specific food. An eczema skin symptom manifests in a rash that gradually develops and an increased desire to itch.

In terms of nutritional supplements to prevent eczema, studies show that flaxseed, evening primrose oil and zinc are good considerations. Supplements do not produce instant results, however. You will need to consume them for a period of six months or longer to see if they produce benefits for your skin.

Consuming one tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day is helpful in reducing the inflammation from eczema. Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of essential fats. Flaxseed also comes in powder form and can be sprinkled on a variety of foods.

Evening primrose oil contains a high percentage of an omega-6 fatty acid known as GLA (or gamma linolenic acid). GLA has healing properties with regards to eczema breakouts. An average daily dose of evening primrose oil to prevent eczema is recommended at two to four grams, taken with meals.

If you choose to take a zinc supplement for your eczema, do not consume more than thirty milligrams a day. Too much zinc every day results in a copper deficiency which can lead to other health problems.

Usually, if you are prone to eczema, you are likely to have dry skin. Eight glasses of water everyday is what is recommended for an average person. In your case, due to your skin condition, you should try to drink beyond eight glasses or two litres of water daily. Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated will help you prevent an eczema flare-up and for easier bowel movements.

You may consider keeping a detailed food diary for your eczema and diet. This food diary should also include notes about the supplements that you are consuming. Only then will you be closer to a diet and nutrition plan that can help prevent an eczema flare-up.

Read more about natural eczema treatments in my new blog as I review them on my own eczema-prone skin.

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