What foods to avoid if you have eczema?

Eczema Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

 Eczema or ‘ekzema’ (in Malay) is also known as dermatitis. Eczema or dermatitis is a group of skin conditions with typical skin lesions. The characteristics of the skin lesions are red, swollen, itchy, scaly, sometimes containing fluid that may ooze, and crusting. Due to itchiness, those with eczema tend to scratch these lesions and may cause injury and pain. Sometimes, it may get even worse by causing infection. Eczema accounts for up to 30% of total medical consultations involving skin conditions. 

 There are several types of eczema or dermatitis. The types are:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Juvenile plantar dermatosis
  • Asteatotic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis
  • Nummular eczema
  • Dyshidrotic eczema

 Before you blindly start avoiding certain foods, you can go for a skin prick test and identify the possible allergen that may cause you to have eczema. The common food that associated with eczema are:

  • Peanut
  • Cow’s milk
  • Wheat
  • Egg

 Vascular eczema is a condition where the skin is affected due to varicose veins. The skin changes are characterized by the presence of eczematous plaques. Vascular eczema is also known as stasis dermatitis or stasis eczema. When the veins beneath the skin or also known as subcutaneous veins are distended, dilated, elongated, and tortuous, they are known as the varicose veins.

 The underlying issue in varicose veins is the valves within the veins are incompetent. Inflammation and prolong venous hypertension will cause valvular damage. The damaged valves will lose their function. Prolong venous hypertension is the reason for skin changes that results in eczema. 

  The risk factors of varicose veins are:

  • Female
  • Old age
  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Female which gave birth to many children
  • Prolonged standing

  The symptoms of varicose veins are:

  • Leg pain
  • Calf pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Calf or leg heaviness

 The treatment for varicose veins is leg elevation, leg exercise, compression therapy, and veins ablation therapy. In most cases, venous ablation therapy is good enough to cure varicose veins. The prognosis and outcome following treatment are good.

  The possible complications are:

  • Venous ulceration
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis
  • Skin changes

 Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of eczema that occurs in body parts with a high number of sebaceous glands. The example of the body parts is the side of the nose, scalp, and eyebrows. The less common areas are back, chest, and armpits. Seborrheic dermatitis is usually associated with HIV infection. Many HIV positive patients presented with seborrheic dermatitis. Hair dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. 80% of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and 20% of HIV positive patients who are not yet on antiretroviral therapy suffer from seborrheic dermatitis. Those who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease also commonly have seborrheic dermatitis. 

 Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition typically affecting children. Contact dermatitis on the other hand is a type of eczema resulting from contact with a substance. There are two types of contact dermatitis. They are:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Irritant induced dermatitis

 Irritant induced dermatitis accounts for around 80% of contact dermatitis cases. Exposure to substances that cause skin irritation is the mechanism behind this skin condition. The example of irritants are:

  • Bleach
  • Solvents
  • Soaps
  • Alkalis
  • Plant parts
  • Acids
  • Soil
  • Dust
  • Paper

 Asteatotic eczema is another type of eczema that mainly affects older age group people involving their legs. The cases of asteatotic eczema are highest during winter as usually in winter, the skin easily dries up and causes this type of eczema. Topical steroids are usually effective in treating this skin condition.

 A dyshidrotic eczema is a form of dermatitis that affects the palms, soles, and the outer aspect of the fingers. The exact cause is unknown. This condition frequently affects teenagers. Nummular eczema is the other type of eczema that commonly affects the upper and lower limbs.