How Diet Affects Inflammatory Skin Conditions Like Eczema

Eczema is more than just a skin condition. It is an inflammatory disorder of the whole body, which usually manifests as an itching and patchy inflammation on the skin. The most common form of eczema is atopic eczema, which is thought to have a genetic component. It is an allergic condition, which is closely related to asthma and allergic rhinitis. There are many possible causes of eczema, and the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, or CSNN, states that a proper diet can play an important role in treating this skin disorder.

Diet Intolerance

Phyllis Balch says in her book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” that eczema tends to most often affect allergy-prone individuals. Various foods can make eczema worse because they serve to modify the immune system in a way that worsens the condition. As such, it is highly recommended that you avoid the most commonly allergenic foods for three weeks.

Eliminating Foods From Your Diet

The list of common foods to avoid is absolutely huge and cannot all be listed in one article. Some examples include soy, nuts, red meat and corn. By reintroducing these foods back into your diet one at a time after a period of three weeks, you will be able to identify which ones are causing your eczema to worsen. If you find that your symptoms get worse with a particular nutrient, you must make sure to eliminate it from your diet completely and indefinitely. Eggs are exceptionally troublesome in most cases of eczema, so be extra watchful of your skin when you start to reintroduce these to your meals.

More Dietary Changes

One of the reasons why eczema is becoming more and more common over time, is that we are consuming more and more meats in our diet. Studies have found that increased meat consumption results in more inflammation in the body. Consuming animal products on a daily basis is highly inadvisable, especially if you are suffering from severe symptoms of eczema. CSNN advises eating a whole foods diet that emphasizes the following immune system-boosting foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, seafood, fresh fish, flaxseed oil and extra virgin olive oil. Probiotic yogurts that contain live active cultures have been shown in a number of studies to help reduce the symptoms of eczema by controlling the way your immune system responds to food, and preventing it from over-reacting as it does in eczema.

A Vitamin along with Beta Carotene Abundant Foods

As well as the above diet choices, eczema also responds very well to vitamin A and B-carotene, both of which limit the body’s capacity for inflammation, hence reducing eczema symptoms. CSNN advises eating foods daily that are rich in these nutrients, including egg yolks, liver, carrots, squash, pumpkin, apricots, peaches, dandelion greens, spinach and kale.


Dietary fiber helps prevent stagnation in the bowels. A high fiber intake helps to modulate the immune system by helping to maintain the intestinal mucosal barrier. One way to increase fiber in your diet is to opt for the whole-meal variety of foods, avoiding processed refined carbohydrates like white pasta, white rice, white bread and white flour, and non-whole grain cereals.