Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) and Food Allergies


English: Is considered as one of the first pic... ROKer, Vesle asked a question concerning the triggers of atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema, after my post on coffee consumption, as she noticed that her eczema flared up after drinking certain types of coffee. She wondered about other diet related triggers of eczema.

What is Atopic dermatitis? Atopic dermatitis is a multifactorial disease for which the pathophysiology is not clearly understood. Genetic susceptibility, environmental factors, epithelial barrier dysfunction and immunologic response dysregulation have been implicated in the pathogenesis.

The skin of a patient with atopic dermatitis reacts abnormally and easily to irritants, food, and environmental allergens and becomes red, flaky and very itchy. It also becomes vulnerable to surface infections caused by bacteria. The skin on the flexural surfaces of the joints (for example inner sides of elbows and knees) are the most commonly affected regions in people.

Although atopic dermatitis can occur in any age, most often it affects infants and young children. Occasionally, it may persist into adulthood or may actually appear at that time. Some patients tend to have a protracted course with various ups and downs. In most cases, there are periods of time when the disease is worse, called exacerbations or flares, which are followed by periods when the skin improves or clears up entirely, called remissions. Most children with atopic dermatitis enter into a permanent remission of the disease when they get older, although their skin may remain somewhat dry and easily irritated.

Multiple factors can trigger or worsen atopic dermatitis, including low humidity, seasonal allergies, exposure to harsh soaps and detergents, and cold weather. Environmental factors can activate symptoms of atopic dermatitis at any time in the lives of individuals who have inherited the atopic disease trait.

General triggers:

1.Wool or synthetic fibers 2.Soaps and detergents 3.Some perfumes and cosmetics 4.Substances such as chlorine, mineral oil, or solvents 5.Dust or sand 6.Dust mites 7.Cigarette smoke 8.Animal fur or dander 9.Flowers and pollen

Atopic dermatitis and food allergy:

While no cause of atopic dermatitis, food allergy is often present in atopic children, and children with food allergy often present with atopic dermatitis. Many dermatologists and physicians test for food allergy in their office. The test is often done as a "pin prick" or "needle prick"  test.

Common food allergen causing eczematous dermatitis include peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, and egg. While food allergy induced eczematous dermatitis might present independent of atopic dermatitis, some with atopic dermatitis also have concurrent food allergies.

The strongest scientifically proven link between food allergies and atopic eczema is that of egg-intolerance. It has been shown that egg allergy in adolescents and adults may affect their course of atopic eczema, and elimination of eggs from patient diet has been suggested as beneficial in terms of treatment.

Wheat is another allergen associated to appearance and flare ups of atopic eczema. It was shown that after administration of wheat in case study group, delayed hypersensitivity symptoms appeard about 24 hours after wheat ingestion and included gas- trointestinal symptoms and exacerbation of atopic eczema.

In short, what should you do?

You could have an intolerance to any of these food related triggers. Find out which one fits your atopic eczema, or get pin-prick tested at a doctors office. People are different, and what one person might react to, does not necisarily go for the next.

1. A complete food such as milk, soya, carrot, egg, pork, wheat, mushroom, chicken, apple.

2. A naturally occurring chemical such as: Salicylate in many herbs, fruit and vegetables. Tyramine in aged meat, cheeses and wine. Purines in protein foods.

3. An added ingredient that does not occur naturally in the food - such as a preservative, colouring, flavour or, artificial sweetener.

4. In a complex food, i.e. any processed food, you could be sensitive to any one of the ingredients. For example, in bread it is possible to react to wheat, preservatives, yeast, or bleaching agents. The simple truth is that any reaction, including the skin conditions known as eczema and dermatitis, can be provoked by any food.

If you already know you react to eating / drinking certain things, try staying away from those foods, for a minimum of 1 month. Also, opting for a balanced and stress-free lifestyle is beneficial for all of us, but perhaps even more so in atopic dermatitis sufferers, where psychological stresses might have a more visible impact than normally expected. Working out, meditating, eating well (post on skin and food), and moisturizing often, is key in treatment of this condition.

Suggested moisturizers: 1) Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream 6.7ozMustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream 6.7oz

$20 from skinstore.

  • Restructures the skin with the Sunflower Oil Distillate which helps the skin enhance natural lipids deficient in eczema-prone skin.
  • Provides lipid-replenishment and nourishes with 3 key lipids constituent of the skin.
  • Quickly soothes the sensations of discomfort and helps skin regain suppleness and comfort.
  • Helps rebalance and purify the skin.
  • Limits the need for use of corticosteroids by up to 75%.
  • Tested on eczema-prone skin under dermatological control and in pediatricians' offices.
  • Non-occlusive formula, formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reaction.
  • Paraben-free. Fragrance-free.
  • Rich texture applies and penetrates easily.

Great for face, and target areas. La Roche Posay Lipikar Lipid Replenishing Body Milk 13.5oz La Roche Posay Lipikar Lipid Replenishing Body Milk 13.5oz

$39.95 from skinstore.

Body lotion for moderately to severely dry, atopic and itchy skin types.


 Prevalence and clinical characteristics of adult-onset atopic dermatitis with positive skin prick testing to mites

Kanokvalai Kulthanan,1 Leena Chularojanamontri,1 Araya Manapajon1 and Piyavadee Nuchkull1


Jarmila Čelakovská1, Květuše Ettlerová2, Karel Ettler1, Jaroslava Vaněčková1

The effecT of WheaT allergy on The course of aTopic eczema in paTienTs over 14 years of age

Jarmila Čelakovská1, Květuše Ettlerová2, Karel Ettler1, Jaroslava Vaněčková1, Josef Bukač3