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Eczema, sometimes referred to as dermatitis, causes inflamed irritated skin that is alternately dry and scaly or blistered and wet. The direct causes of this common complaint are unclear as many different factors can contribute to an outbreak. Stress, fatigue, allergic reactions to chemicals or fabrics and even temperature can be to blame but one of the most significant is diet. Eczema can be triggered and alleviated by various foods which may vary from one sufferer to another but there are some foods that are distinctly in one category or the other.
Foods to avoid for eczema
Grains such as wheat, barley and rye are known to be some of the most common culprits, mainly because of the yeast and gluten content. Dairy products made from cow's milk, particularly yogurt and cheese can cause a reaction. With eczema food to avoid also includes sugary treats such as chocolate. Eggs seem to affect some sufferers and not others. To find out which suspected foods can be causing an allergy, eliminate them one at a time from the diet for at least a fortnight before reintroducing them to test the skin's reaction.
Safe foods for eczema
Certain foods are considered to be blameless and can provide useful alternatives when trying to replace sources of vitamins or alleviate symptoms. Green leafy cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage contain anti-inflammatory carotenoids and flavonoids that can reduce stress. Buckwheat and quinoa are alternative grains that can replace wheat bread. Salmon is an ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids that contain a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. Apples, chicken and red grapes are considered eczema safe foods, while almond or rice milk make excellent alternatives to dairy products.
Eczema diet plan recipes
For a healthy anti-inflammatory lunch that includes high levels of vitamin A, C and E to boost the immune system, try salmon with a salad of radishes, carrots and lettuce. Baked potatoes served with fish or lean chicken and onions which are rich in skin friendly vitamin K can make a delicious evening meal. A soup made from carrot, and beetroot and flavoured with the powerful antioxidant spices turmeric and ginger, will benefit the skin by calming inflamed tissues. Cakes can be baked from quinoa, a gluten-free flour and raisins. Even eggs can be replaced by flax seeds and desserts can be made from carob flour, an alternative to chocolate.
Skincare for eczema
Eczema sufferers have great difficulty finding skin care products that don't irritate them. Products such as Söndskin's Sidekick Day Cream and Midnight Feast Night Cream are created from natural ingredients, such as shea butter and coconut oil, that have soothing anti-inflammatory properties. They contain oils made from argan, sunflower and hemp and include pomegranate extract and Himalayan salts to help to revitalise and regenerate the skin. Söndskin's skin care products have a high pH rating of 7.3, which incorporates greater amounts of oxygen to help repair the most sensitive skin.