Eczema and Food Reports

Foods may play a role in a small group of infants and children. Most of these reactions resolve in older children.

Elimination diets may be useful if all other treatments have failed. It is frequently difficult during childhood to have severe restrictions of diet. In some cases foods do appear to be a distinct aggravating factor in eczema. True food allergies produce hives, not eczema.

Some of the findings about food and eczema are:
Allergy tests can be difficult to interpret (Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;104:s114-22)

Occasionally a long lasting benefit is seen in response to dietary changes (Clin Allergy 1988;18:215-28)

A restriction of milk in those young children with cow’s milk allergy showed a delay in growth (J Pediatri 1998;132:1004-9)

In pregnancy it would appear that it would be best for the atopic mother to minimize the consumption of milk, tomatoes, or any foods that she herself reacts to. Breastfeeding would appear to be of benefit for atopic children. Food additives such as sulfites, MSG may aggravate eczema.

Common reactions to the following foods:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Wheat
  • Seafood
  • Fruit with seeds

Soy milk can sometimes be problematic due to the high amount of protein and polyunsaturated fats that the products contain. Soy milk is made from soybeans that have soaked in water, so it is essentially the same product. The reactions that people sometimes have to certain products depend strictly on their individual body mechanisms in metabolizing and breaking down certain food elements. If you feel that the soy products may be a problem, you might consider trying rice or almond milk. Also, depending on the persons age, you want to make sure that whichever product you decide to use has a sufficient amount of calcium and vitamins added.