8 Kinds of Food That Cause Eczema Flare-ups

Precious Ade

foods that cause eczema flare-ups in humans

We get it— battling eczema can be emotionally draining. When your skin is itchy, dry, and rough, it is not a pretty sight! If having eczema gets to you sometimes, we’re here to help! 

Many people find themselves in this situation. What we know is that most eczema patients have some food intolerances. 

Doctors say that eczema flare-ups occur as a result of inflammatory reactions in the body. Simply put, eating certain foods can cause eczema flare-ups. 

There are a lot of debates associated with the relationship between diet and eczema. The most popular controversy questions what is the best eczema elimination diet. 

Other debates ask about the relationship between gluten and eczema, and question whether banana is an eczema-safe food.  

In this blog post, we will give you answers to these questions. We will also explain why each diet is right for eczema. 

HR fam, are you ready?


Food allergies come as a result of irregular or abnormal immune system responses after eating certain foods. 

The human body sees the food as a harmful substance and then initiates some reactions. You feel the responses as symptoms of eczema. 

Some of these include symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, tingling in the mouth, coughing, and vomiting. 

In a severe case of food allergy, anaphylaxis can occur. This is a life-threatening reaction where the throat swells and blocks the airway. Pretty scary, right?

Interestingly, food allergies occur more frequently among people with eczema. And investigation reveals that eczema patients often have food allergies. 

Now, it is necessary to know that your body is different from someone else's. This means that the cause of one person’s eczema flare-up can be different from yours. 

Discovering your food intolerance minimizes your issues with eczema. A good number of the common foods that cause eczema flare-up contain a substance called gluten.

Gluten is a proteinous substance found in foods like barley and wheat. Though it’s unclear exactly how gluten affects the skin, there is evidence that they are related. 

A research study by American scientists shows the link between gluten and eczema. 

It shows that gluten has the same effect on eczema flare-ups, as does eggs, nuts, and dairy products. 

Below are common foods that cause eczema flare-ups:


  1. Some Citrus Fruits

Grapefruit, lime, and lemon are examples of such fruits. Scientists say they contain chemicals that can trigger eczema symptoms. 

Though citrus fruits are good sources of vitamins, some people develop an allergy to them. Citrus allergies often induce eczema flare-ups in susceptible people.

  1. Wheat

Wheat is a grain like barley, rye, and oat. It contains a protein called gluten. Scientific research shows that gluten may contribute to eczema symptoms. 

Eczema has been linked to leaky gut in humans. Furthermore, gluten in wheat aggravates the condition and triggers symptoms like itching and redness of the skin.

  1. Eggs

Like wheat, scientists say that eggs contain gluten too. A study found that children who had eczema alongside egg allergy showed a significant reduction in their eczema symptoms when they avoid eating eggs.

However, natural eggs are gluten-free. Egg benedict and quiche are not. Therefore, eggs only become bad for eczema patients on gluten cross-contamination. 

  1. Dairy products

Most dairy products contain saturated fats. They also contain hormones that cause inflammation. This, in turn, triggers eczema flares.

The severity of the condition varies among persons. But it can be life-threatening in some people. 

Therefore, doctors usually advise eczema patients to remove dairy from their diet. 

  1. Soy Products

Soy products also contain gluten. Consuming soy products leads to a condition called soy allergy in children. 

Research shows that one-third of people living with eczema respond to soy. Interestingly, only 2.8% of them report an allergic reaction to it. 

Conclusively, it is wise for children to avoid soy products if they are battling eczema.

  1. Spices

Cinnamon, garlic, and fenugreek are examples of spices that cause eczema flare-ups in some people. This might result from handling or eating any of them.

Surprisingly, some of these spices are present in cosmetic products. Therefore, it might be advisable to stop using such products. 

  1. Tomatoes

Despite its many health benefits, there is a connection between tomato and eczema. 

Tomato allergies occur in some people with eczema. Symptoms like itching, redness may become severe in such persons. 

  1. Processed Foods

Studies have shown that food containing preservatives may aggravate symptoms of eczema. Examples are fast food, artificial snacks, and margarine. 

This is because they contain a high content of trans fat. They also contain artificial ingredients that have high sugar content. 

Generally, sugar causes your insulin level to increase sharply. This will result in inflammation.

Some people with eczema are more prone to oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Such people react to other foods like green apples, celery, hazelnuts, and pears.

What Eczema Elimination Diets Can You Take?

The key to managing the overall condition is maintaining an eczema-friendly diet.

Adopting an eczema elimination diet might require avoiding some foods. The goal is to reduce the symptoms of eczema you experience. 

Though there is no one-size-fits-all eczema diet, there are diets that can help ease eczema symptoms. Such diets include;

Mediterranean Diet 

The Mediterranean diet promotes eating  healthy fats. Examples of food in the Mediterranean diet for eczema are avocado and mackerel. Others are red wine, grilled white meat.

This diet will keep you healthy from the inside out. It will make your skin more youthful and glowing. Ultimately, they will make you feel good!

Anti-Inflammatory Diet 

An anti-inflammatory food plan focuses on removing foods that increase inflammation. They are foods rich in fiber. The following foods make up your anti-inflammatory diet plan:


Experts say bananas are one of the fruits good for eczema. It is an abundant source of potassium. This dietary element helps fight eczema flares.

Also, bananas are alkalizing in nature. Also, mung bean sprouts, bananas are a great addition to your eczema elimination diet.


Apart from the fact that potatoes are rich in fiber, they are  also a good source of vitamin C. They contain potassium that can help you fight inflammation.

Potatoes are good for eczema because of these capabilities.

Hemp Seeds 

Hemp seeds are very nutritious and anti-inflammatory. They contain essential omega-3 acid and omega-6 acid in abundant quantities. 

The ratio of fatty acids in hemp seeds is three to one. When you take hemp seeds, your omega-3 and omega-6 blood levels will increase. 

According to experts, this is an optimal range that can not be found in most plants. 

A study shows that hemp seeds have positive effects on the immune system. It increases its capacity to fight diseases. 

Hemp seeds are good for managing eczema because of these characteristics. 

You can take hemp seed oil or hemp seed body butter when hemp seeds are not available. Hemp seed body butter is specially made for eczema patients. 

It has the same effects on the body as hemp seed. Users also say it reduces dryness and itching.

Fatty Fish

Examples of fatty fish are herring and salmon. Research shows that these types of fish contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Omega-3 supplements can be taken in place of fatty fish. Doctors usually recommend a daily intake of 250mg of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Foods Rich in Quercetin

Quercetin is a natural pigment (or flavonoid) found in fruits and vegetables. It is a plant-based flavonoid that gives many flowers, fruits, and vegetables their vibrant color. 

Studies show that quercetin is also a powerful antioxidant. It is potent enough to reduce inflammation and histamine. 

Therefore, adding it to a balanced healthy diet through food or dietary supplement may help treat eczema symptoms. 

Quercetin is present in food, fruits, and vegetables such as apples, blueberries, onions, cherries, broccoli, spinach, and black or green tea. 

Foods Rich in Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria. Scientists consider them good because they promote good gut health. They are present in yogurt and vegetables. 

Foods containing probiotics help the body maintain a reliable immune system. A 2010 study done by Turkish researchers supports this. 

They found that children with allergic diseases like eczema had significantly different intestinal flora from healthy children. The researchers concluded that probiotics could be helpful in the management of eczema.

Probiotic-rich foods include sourdough bread, miso soup, naturally fermented pickles. Examples of these fermented foods are soft cheeses, gouda, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut.

Dyshidrotic Diet

Doctors usually recommend a dyshidrotic diet for people with dyshidrotic eczema. This is a kind of eczema with tiny blisters on hands and feet. 

What causes allergies in dyshidrotic eczema are foods that trigger flare-ups. Nickel and cobalt are culprits in the symptom of dyshidrotic eczema. 

Weird, right? Believe it or not, these substances can be found in everyday foods like baking powder, chickpeas, oat, and canned foods.

Therefore, if you are diagnosed with dyshidrotic eczema, you might cut out those foods. 

Instead, you should incorporate the following foods into your diet.

  • Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Pineapple 

The majority of these foods are fruits good for eczema. They contain vitamin C that prevents the absorption of nickel and cobalt. 

What About Babies with Eczema?

It is easy for adults to change their diets. But it is a different story for breastfed babies with eczema. 

You may be wondering what foods cause eczema in breastfed babies; the truth is the mother's diet could affect the baby.

Therefore, examine your diet if you notice an increase in your baby's severity of eczema symptoms. 

To be specific, tree nuts, cow's milk, and peanuts are among foods that cause eczema in susceptible babies. 

Also, baby formula products might contain eczema triggers. Therefore, you might want to switch from a milk-based formula to a hydrolyzed one. This type is less likely to cause eczema flare-ups.


Foods that cause eczema vary from person to person. Therefore it is vital to identify your own specific food intolerance. 

You can do this by removing foods one by one to see how your body responds to it in 14 days. Your doctor can also help you diagnose food allergies.

For every type of food removed from your diet, replace it with another type of food that is eczema-friendly. You should choose the one with similar nutritional benefits and maybe taste. 

We understand that the taste is important if the food you have to remove is your favorite. Eczema should not stop you from feeling good!

What do you think about this? Share your comments below!


  1. Diet and dermatitis: food triggers.
  2. Celiac Disease in Children with Atopic Dermatitis | Request PDF
  3. Soy Allergy in Patients Suffering from Atopic Dermatitis
  4. Molecular Targets of Quercetin With Anti-Inflammatory Properties in Atopic Dermatitis
  5. Fatty Acids, the Immune Response, and Autoimmunity: A Question of n-6 Essentiality and the Balance Between n-6 and n-3


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