Dairy is a very common allergen, particularly in children. Some are lucky to "grow out of it", but some are affected by it throughout their adult life as well.
The 10 second science bit: when you have an allergic reaction to dairy, your body produces histamine, which is a chemical responsible for allergy symptoms. According to Live Strong "histamine levels in your skin lead to inflammation and irritation which can cause your skin to become unstable and break out with a general or a specific rash".
A dairy allergy therefore has a direct impact on your skin, whether it's causing a new rash, or flaring up an existing condition such as eczema. This is particularly true for consumption of processed milk, and for cow's milk (more so than for goat or sheep milk).
Take caution when cutting out dairy from your diet
Lots of eczema sufferers find that cutting out dairy products from their diet helps to clear up their skin and relieve the symptoms. However, going on a strict dairy-free diet can also have it's consequences. Your body would react well initially, however it may also develop an increased dairy sensitivity to the point that any trace of dairy could lead to a severe flare-up.
If you do decide to completely cut out diary from your diet, we suggest that you consult your doctor first, and possibly a nutritionist who could help you on this journey.
Possibly a better and more effective way would be following the Whole30 diet, where you completely eliminate a food group for 30 days and then reintroduce it back into your diet gradually with high quality produce, such as grass-fed whole milk, organic yoghurt, butter or cheese. You will be able to monitor the response of your skin by introducing products slowly, and waiting a few days in between so you can gauge any reactions.
There are lots of ways to approach reducing or eliminating diary from your diet. The great news is that more recently there's been a huge increase in the availability of diary free recipies, options and subsitiutes you can enjoy.
Here's a few of our favourite alternative dairy-free recipes to substitute for your usual diary indulgent meals:
1. If you love pizza: Vegan Pesto and Roasted Tomato Pizza
2. If you love ice cream: Almond & Honey Dairy-free Ice Cream
3. If you love cheese sauce: Vegan Cheese Sauce