What Food Should Eczema/TSW Avoid?

While we do not have a hard and fast rule to this question due to individual intolerance and allergies to certain food, there is a general list of food to avoid for people with eczema.

Many people who have eczema are also diagnosed with food allergies however they may simply have food intolerance where they are still able to consume that food but at a regulated rate, else an eczema flare-up will happen. However, everyone is different and discovering your personal food needs is important to minimize issues with allergies and eczema. Not everyone will have issues with the foods listed below, but common food allergies associated with eczema include:

  • cow’s milk
  • eggs
  • soy products
  • gluten
  • nuts
  • fish
  • shellfish

We should also look out for high histamine food that causes more itch than other food such as:

  • alcohol and other fermented beverages
  • fermented foods and dairy products, such as yogurt and sauerkraut
  • dried fruits
  • avocados
  • eggplant
  • spinach
  • processed or smoked meats
  • shellfish
  • aged cheese

There are also a number of foods that trigger histamine release in the body, such as:

  • alcohol
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • wheat germ
  • beans
  • papaya
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruits
  • nuts, specifically walnuts, cashews and peanuts
  • food dyes and other additives

How about food high in sugar?

Foods containing preservatives and artificial ingredients may also exacerbate symptoms. This includes foods high in trans fats, such as margarine, processed food, and fast food.

Foods high in sugar may also trigger eczema flare-ups. Sugar causes your insulin levels to spike, which can result in inflammation.

Items typically high in sugar include:

  • cakes
  • some coffee drinks
  • some sodas
  • some smoothies
  • fast food items, such as burgers
  • processed food such as nuggets, fish fillets, etc
  • fast food

Elimination diet

The elimination diet is recommended for people who have diagnosed with food allergies. If you aren’t sure what your eczema triggers are, trying the elimination diet may or may not reduce flare-ups.

There are many triggers for eczema outside of what you eat, including stress, topical products, and the environment. This may make it harder to determine what’s causing your outbreaks.

If you wish to try the elimination diet, start by removing specific foods or food groups from what you eat for at least three days to see if your flare-ups subside. For best results, try to introduce food groups one at a time every 3 days.

The Bottom Line

Many triggers might bring on eczema-related symptoms, including what you eat. There isn’t a single diet that eliminates eczema in everyone, but a good rule of thumb is to avoid any foods that seem to make your symptoms worse. There is a higher sensitivity of food for TSW sufferers and it is important to reduce body inflammation through food elimination.

Focus on a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. This may help you to stave off some — or even all — of your eczema flare-ups.