If you have eczema, you want to do all you can to try to stop the irritation and itching it can cause. So you may be eager to try eczema diets promoted in books or on the Internet.
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How helpful are these eczema diets? Research about diet and eczema is conflicting.
- Eczema has been linked to food allergies, but most people with eczema don’t have a food allergy.
- Some small studies suggest that certain foods may actually ease eczema, but there’s no definitive evidence yet.
Diet and Eczema in Children
Most dermatologists seem to agree that adult eczema is not caused by food. Some young children have eczema caused by allergic reactions to certain foods. But after age 3 or 4, eczema caused by foods is very rare. Food can cause hives and other skin reactions, but not eczema.
If you are concerned that a food allergy is playing a role in your child’s eczema, talk with your doctor. Although you can have your child checked for food allergies, the results are often not reliable.
“Positive results [to food allergy tests] are very common, even if your child doesn’t have an allergy,” says Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, chief of Pediatric Dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. “So while it’s sometimes helpful for children with severe eczema, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone.”
Diet and Eczema in Adults