Symptoms of Eczema & atopic dermatitis
Many of my clients presenting with eczema (atopic dermatitis) have success with dietary and nutritional changes. Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is an inflammatory condition that makes your skin red and itchy. Interestingly, with Covid 19 I’ve had more people presenting with hand dermatitis, as the alcohol anti-bacterial hand washes are exacerbating their symptoms.
Other symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
- Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp
- Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.
What causes eczema?
Why some people develop eczema is not well understood. It is common for people with eczema to have other allergies. This suggests that inherited (genetic) factors increase the tendency to develop eczema. In people with eczema the skin does not retain moisture very well, which causes it to dry out easily. Many people with eczema already have other allergies, or can develop other allergies, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, food allergies, or dust mite allergy.
Dermatitis and diet
- Foods that can affect eczema:
- cow’s milk
- soy products
Fish and omegas are anti-inflammatory. Oily fish like salmon and mackerel are high in the omegas and help with inflammation.
Foods containing quercetin
Quercetin is a plant-based flavonoid. It helps give many flowers, fruits, and vegetables their rich color. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and antihistamine. This means it can reduce inflammation as well as levels of histamine in your body.
Foods high in quercetin include:
Foods containing probiotics
Probiotic foods, such as yogurt, contain live cultures that help support a strong immune system. This may help reduce flare-ups or allergic reactions.
Probiotic-rich foods include:
- sourdough bread
- miso soup
- naturally fermented pickles
- soft cheeses, such as Gouda
- unpasteurized sauerkraut
- Keep the skin moisturised with anti allergy creams.
- Use a non-soap based wash or oil in the bath or shower.
- Keep stress low as it can exacerbate symptoms
- Eliminate food sensitivities
- Avoid very hot baths or showers.
- Oat meal baths can soothe the skin
- Eat anti inflammatory foods