There can be different triggers for eczema. Certain food items are found to cause or exacerbate an existing eczema. Here, I share some common ones:
1. Dairy. In milk or food items derived from it, it is the chemical compound casein that causes problems. Casein is present in milk. Dairy products include any milk, cheese, or anything that has high milk content such as milk chocolate, ice cream, and yogurt.
2. Wheat. Wheat contains the compound gluten, which is a potential eczema trigger. Removing wheat products from your diet can be pretty difficult to achieve as this will mean eliminating bread, desserts and wheat noodles.
3. Crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, prawns, shrimp, squid, cuttlefish, clams, and oysters. Most eczema sufferers have adverse allergic reactions including face swelling and hives after eating seafood. Reactions can appear within one hour and some take two to three days to show symptoms. The compounds, parvalbumins and tropomyosin, found in them triggers eczema.
4. Chicken. In the case of chicken and eggs, certain proteins present in them are the trouble makers. In fact, traditional Chinese beliefs are that chicken products are toxic to those with skin ailments. In the case of chicken, additionally, the effect is also due to the preservatives such as sulphates, sulphites, nitrites and nitrates, sodium benzoate, sulphur dioxide etc that are added to it during packing. All these chemicals can worsen an existing eczema.
5. Spices. There is considerable debate over whether spices trigger eczema or not. Still, if you have a bad case of eczema, it is better to avoid all spicy foods that use chilli and tumeric powder for the time being.
6. Other food items that act as trigger to eczema are oysters, citrus fruits such as strawberry, tomatoes, oranges and lemon, and soy.
Since my eczema outbreak, I have eliminated almost all the above items from my diet. However, on occasions, I still eat a slice of bread made of wheat flour or some cakes at a birthday party. It is hard to resist temptation, after all! However, such times are never often.
Still, never once, did I give in to eating crustaceans. I consider them the most toxic of the lot and a huge trigger for my eczema. I would gladly pass up on the plate of delicious looking calamari than have my skin itch like crazy at night!