Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eczema and Allergies

For years I've believed that eczema was caused by food allergies.  I don't remember exactly where I first heard it, maybe from my mom, maybe in massage school, or somewhere along the way. I Googled the topic today, after discussing it at a Nerium University party last night, and to my surprise I didn't find the hard core conclusive evidence I was certain I would find.  What I did find wasn't too surprising, but interesting none the less, so I thought I would share it with you. 
Whether food sensitivities and allergies cause eczema or eczema causes the allergies is not exactly known.  A few things can help though.  Avoid any food that exacerbates the condition.  The simplest way to find out what your triggers are is to do an elimination diet.  Start with eggs because they seem to be the most common trigger.  Don't eat eggs or anything with eggs for 2 weeks.  If it gets better, stay off the eggs and move on to another of the most common allergens, such as wheat, dairy, nuts, or shellfish.  Keep in mind that it may get better but never completely go away. 
Stress and non food allergies, like dander and hay fever, are also linked to eczema.  There are a couple of things you can do for that too, like getting a regular massage.  Check back soon and I will have the research posted that proves how effective massage is for stress and eczema.  Some research shows that getting more vitamin D can cure eczema. 


Associated Conditions and Risk Factors:

Eczema is associated with a variety of allergic conditions. Among them are asthma, respiratory allergies, and allergic rhinitis. Eczema has a genetic component; children born into families with a history of asthma, hay fever, eczema, or other allergic disorders are more likely to develop eczema.

Eczema and Food Allergies:

About one-third of eczema patients respond to food triggers. Eczema can make allergy testing difficult. It can make skin testing almost impossible. (In these cases, RAST tests may be useful). Food allergens can sometimes cause eczema to worsen or "flare up." In people with eczema and food allergies, strictly avoiding food allergens may help reduce or, occasionally, eliminate symptoms.

Common Food Triggers for Eczema:

The most common food triggers for eczema are eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat. Among these, eggs are probably associated the most strongly with eczema.