What foods trigger eczema flare ups?
Here are the 11 most common food triggers for eczema flare-ups.

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by changes in the skin such as dry, itchy bumpy skin with oozy blisters. There is an association between food allergy and eczema. Children with eczema often have food allergies; however, less than 2 out of every 10 children with eczema go to develop a food allergy. According to present knowledge, eczema begins before food allergy.

Foods can trigger an exacerbation of eczema, known as a flare, but they do not cause eczema. This implies that avoiding a particular food does not “treat” eczema, but it may help to keep it from worsening.

There are no definitive tests to determine which food allergy you have. Your doctor determines it by considering your medical history and performing certain skin or blood tests. They may perform an oral food challenge test in their office to know whether you have a food allergy. Moreover, they may ask you to avoid the suspected culprit food from your diet to see if it helps with your symptoms.

11 foods that may trigger eczema flare-ups

Eleven foods that may trigger eczema flare-ups include:

  1. Milk and milk products
  2. Egg whites
  3. Soybean
  4. Grains rich in gluten such as
    • Wheat
    • Barley
    • Rye
  5. Peanuts
  6. Nuts
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Pecans
  7. Sugar
  8. Shellfish
  9. Chocolate
  10. Strawberries
  11. Citrus fruits

What is the relation between eczema and food allergies?

The precise association between eczema and dietary allergies is unknown. However, scientists believe that some foods might cause an allergic reaction, resulting in hives and possibly severe eczema. Furthermore, some foods may be more prone to cause inflammation and aggravate eczema without eliciting an immune response. Additional study is required although many foods have previously been researched in connection to eczema.

Doctors recommend avoiding food that causes allergies; however, it may not help with eczema. An allergy to egg whites has been linked to more severe eczema flare-ups.

  • In general, strict avoidance of certain foods is ineffective in the treatment of eczema for the majority of individuals.
  • The American Academy of Dermatology's guidelines for managing eczema flare-ups did not include any recommendations for food-elimination diets or supplements because according to the current study, there is no advantage.
  • For some people, however, eliminating certain foods may help prevent flare-ups. It is, thus, crucial to work closely with your dermatologist to know how eliminating certain foods can help your eczema.

The skin contains numerous immune cells. In some cases of eczema, the skin becomes inflamed, skin breakouts occur and contents ooze out. The severity of eczema generally correlates with the likelihood of developing a food allergy.

According to research, if toddlers avoid eating specific foods while they are younger but come in contact with them regularly, they may develop an allergy to them if they have eczema-prone skin. This was seen in the case of peanut allergy.

There is currently strong evidence that varieties of foods must be given to children earlier in their diets to prevent food allergies caused by conditions such as eczema.


Eczema (also atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis) is a general medical term for many types of skin inflammation. See Answer

What is eczema?

  • Eczema is a group of conditions that lead to drying, swelling, itching, irritation, and redness of the skin.
  • Eczema is of various types, among which atopic dermatitis is the most common type. 
  • Eczema is a chronic condition usually seen in children, but it may even develop in adults. 
  • The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is believed that it has a genetic predisposition that means it runs in the family.

What triggers symptoms of eczema?

Symptoms of eczema may be triggered by various allergens, such as:

What are the treatment options for eczema?

Eczema may be effectively treated by caring for, protecting, and treating the skin through the following options:

  • Apply moisturizer at least two times a day (avoid moisturizers that contain harsh ingredients).
  • Bath or shower with non-soap-based wash or oil.
  • The best way to prevent eczema is to avoid triggers.
    • Avoid soaps and washes that have bubbles or froth because they can harm and dry up the skin.
    • Avoid known allergens and irritants including foods that cause allergies.
  • Use anti-inflammatory lotions and ointments, such as topical steroids.
  • Use antihistamines for severe itching.
  • Use antibiotics for bacterial skin infections or bleach baths if infections are common.
  • Use immune modifying medications if severe eczema is indicated.

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Medically Reviewed on 4/28/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

Diet and Eczema: The Facts: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/eczema-diet

Diet and Dermatitis: Food Triggers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970830/

Everything you need to know about eczema and food allergies: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema-food-allergies/