While no cure exists, over-the-counter creams and medications that can help to reduce inflammation are available. Sometimes, a doctor may recommend avoiding foods known to make eczema worse.
Some foods may trigger the release of T cells that cause inflammation, as well as immunoglobulin-E or IgE, which is an antibody that the body produces in response to a threat. Foods that contribute to inflammation include nuts, milk, and wheat.
Foods to eat
For people with eczema, eating certain foods can trigger the body to release immune system compounds that cause inflammation, which, in turn, contributes to an eczema flare-up. An anti-eczema diet is similar to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Fish, a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids that can fight inflammation in the body. Examples of fish high in omega-3s include salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring.
- Foods high in probiotics, which are bacteria that promote good gut health. Examples include yogurt with live and active cultures, miso soup, and tempeh. Other fermented foods and drinks, such as kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, also contain probiotics.
- Foods high in inflammation-fighting flavonoids. Examples of these include colorful fruits and vegetables, such as apples, broccoli, cherries, spinach, and kale.
Eating more of these foods and cutting down on any trigger foods could help to reduce eczema flare-ups.
Research has shown that taking probiotic supplements may reduce the symptoms of eczema. More studies are needed, however, to confirm the effectiveness and dosage required.
Probiotics are available in a variety of supplements, such as the selection available here. If a person is not sure which probiotics to buy, they may find the online reviews helpful and can also talk to their doctor.
Probiotics are also naturally present in many foods. Probiotic foods include:
Other supplements that have been studied include fish oil and Chinese herbal preparations; neither of which made a significant difference in eczema symptoms.
While a person’s diet is not always a trigger for eczema, some people may find that their symptoms do get better when they make dietary changes.
Making these changes and monitoring the results can help a person determine whether changing their diet can help them better manage their condition.
If a person does eliminate a large food group, such as wheat-containing products, they may wish to talk to their doctor about supplements to ensure they are not missing out on any essential vitamins and minerals.
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