Eczema, also commonly referred to as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that causes red, flaky, and itchy rashes. While many factors are associated with the development of eczema, it has been found that certain foods such as dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts, and soy can lead to eczema or exacerbate symptoms in individuals who suffer from the condition. Eczema rashes most typically affect the face, arms, elbows, legs, and knees, but they can also appear on any area of the body.
Eczema is quite common among children. Globally, up to 20% of children get atopic dermatitis with most of them getting a diagnosis prior to reaching one year of age. The good news is that a majority of children who develop eczema in infancy either grow out of the condition or suffer from much less severe symptoms with age. Eczema in teens and adults only makes up around 10% of all first-time cases.
Eczema Connection to Asthma and Allergies
Eczema is linked to a number of conditions characterized by allergic reactions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Eczema can also be hereditary, meaning individuals with a family history of conditions like asthma, allergic rhinitis, other allergies, as well as eczema are more prone to develop the condition.
Nearly 35% of individuals with eczema break out in eczema rashes due to food allergies. Food allergies can also typically result in more severe symptoms and frequent outbreaks. Patients who suffer from eczema due to food allergies can lessen the severity and frequency of eczema flare-ups significantly by avoiding food triggers.
The Most Common Food Triggers
Eggs, dairy, nuts, wheat, and soy seem to be the most prevalent food-related eczema triggers. Though, out of all of these, eggs have the strongest link to severe cases of eczema. Given that a large number of patients with eczema also have certain food allergies, research and experts emphasize the importance of pinpointing food allergies in anyone who gets diagnosed with the condition, particularly children.
There is also a legion of eczema triggers besides certain foods. Aside from food allergies, environmental triggers such as dry air, too much stress, and common allergens such as pollen, animal dander, and dust mites can also bring on flare-ups and worsen eczema symptoms.
Treating eczema requires one to identify and avoid all potential allergens and irritants that can trigger symptoms such as inflammation and irritation. You may also be prescribed potent ointments that ease dryness and itching. The most common medications in use to address the symptoms caused by eczema are corticosteroid creams and ointments that contain the ingredients fluticasone or prednicarbate. In more severe cases, your doctor may see it fit to put you on an oral steroid such as prednisone. However, long-term use of these medicines can lead to adverse side effects, so it is usually a short-term approach to treatment.
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