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The Link Between Diet & Eczema

In an imaginary world, a diet to avoid Eczema would be as simple as eating some magic food or drinking a magic potion – and poof, those itchy, red, scaly patches are gone! Unfortunately, this world is far from ideal, and for now, Eczema is a complicated condition and an incurable one.

While there is no research or hard proof to show that particular eczema diet triggers exist, studies suggest specific allergens in foods can trigger eczema flare-ups in some people who have the condition. 

The big question – Is Eczema genetic?

Here’s the short story: Eczema is believed to be an inherited condition – you can not and will not catch it by coming into contact with someone who has it. It is driven by inflammation that can cause the skin to react with red, itchy, scaly patches. 

While certain foods can cause Eczema to activate, they don’t cause Eczema in the first place – genetics are thought to be the leading cause. 

It is essential to consider that not everyone who has Eczema has these same triggers. Knowing your body’s reaction can help you manage your eczema symptoms in a better way.

There are specific things that can activate these symptoms – these can be anything from what you eat, your household products to the weather changes. 

While there is no given cure for Eczema, there are various ways to control it and stop the symptoms, including keeping an eye on what you eat.

Eczema and Food Allergies

It’s a common fact that most people with Eczema also have allergic conditions like food allergies. Generally, these food allergies are most common in kids – and even more common in children with Eczema.

Certain foods like eggs, cows, milk, nuts, and soy products set off the overactive immune system in some people with Eczema, causing inflammation in their body that leads to itchy, scaly skin.

The food set off for Eczema mentioned below is very different from common food allergies. If you have an allergy to any of the below foods, consuming these foods may cause a flare in Eczema, but this is occasional.

When trying to figure out food-related eczema causes, different allergy testing types need to be done. 

A lineup of the likely suspects when it comes to common food triggers:

Balsam of Peru

Commonly used as a fragrance in most shampoos, deodorants, lotions, air fresheners, and pesticides – it is also found in the flavored spices we consume regularly like:

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Cloves
  • Ginger

If you’re allergic, consuming it can cause your skin to react with redness, swelling, itching, or fluid-filled blisters.


You’ll be surprised to know that nickel – most commonly associated with jewelry like earring backings and watch bands are also found in some foods that we consume daily,


  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Spinach

The most common reactions to this are itchiness, red, purple, or ashen grey patches, depending on your skin color, hands, and elbows.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol is a derivative of petroleum used as a thickening agent in foods and is found in various skin-care products, cosmetics, and medications.

The foods that usually contain this are:

  • Salad dressings
  • Snacks
  • Baked goods
  • Beverages

It is said to cause reactions that may include itchy, red, scaly patches on the face, neck, or hands.

It’s an itchy world – show your skin some love by calling 832-572-5533. You can also schedule an appointment online to treat this disorder with topical corticosteroids, oral steroids, or in severe cases, prescription antibiotics by our experts at Team Dermatology.

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TEAM Dermatology advises you of the departure of Dr. Kuda Maloney from our Memorial and Sugar Land locations in November of  2023.  Dr. Maloney will be pursuing interests outside of private practice and we wish her the best in achievement of her future endeavors. Please contact our office to arrange for your care with another provider in our offices.