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Question
Posted by: ANRE | 2012/07/26

ECZEMA AND FOOD

Hi, I have been getting bad eczema outbreaks on my hands.

I''ve been to dermatologists who said " you are allergic to something, here are some creams to alleviate the itchiness and pain" ... but never gave me a real indication of what is actually causing the problem!

My pharmacist recently recommended that cut out all soaps and chemicals. I bath in bath oil and potassium sprinkles, I wash with Epizone ointment etc. But the outbreaks seem worse now.

This leads me to believe that it might be something that I am eating.

Where do I start? Someone recommended that I eat only steamed chicken and plain rice for 10 days and slowly introduce dairy products for 3 days and see what happens, or fruit or wheat etc.

Can you please help with any specific routes I can take to try and find the food that is causing this perhaps? Or do you have a list of foods that definately cause or aggrivate eczema?

Also are there allergy tests out there to determine allergies for certain FOODS and CHEMICALS?? And if so, where do you have these done??

Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Anre
I can imagine that you must be desperate. You can certainly ask any medical doctors (your gp or the Dermatologist) to send you for allergy tests to determine what range of allergens you may be allergic to. By range of allergens I mean broad groups like: food or chemicals or cosmetics or grasses and pollen or animal hairs or house mites, etc. If your eczema is in any way related to food, then it is important to first determine which foods are implicated to prevent you cutting out whole essential food groups unnecessarily and then developing deficiencies. I would firstly recommend that you have the allergy tests done and if foods are implicated then consult a registered dietitian to help you apply the elimination diet to pinpoint which foods are the culprits and which compound or processed foods you will need to avoid because they contain the allergens. In addition the dietitian will have to help you compile an individual diet prescription so that you do not develop deficiencies if you have to cut out certain foods.
Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. You can also contact the Allergy Association by visiting their Website at: www.allallergy.net to find out more about allergies and their possible relationship with eczema.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: fellow sufferer | 2012/07/30

I hope this helps:

My " itchy foods"  are citrus, strawberries, tomato. I wash face and body with Cetaphil cleanser. Apply Nutraderm lotion if your skin is still dry, otherwise Epimax or Oilatum grease on the itchy patches. I got rid of some plants in my garden that I loved, such as red hot pokers and lavender, as they made my hands and forearms itch like crazy. Lavender is a tricky one to be allergic to because it''s in a lot of toiletries and even cleaning products.
It could also be something as simple as often handling paper or a certain kind of plastic (contact dermatitis), especially since you get the eczema on your hands.
If it''s a food allergy I think it''s more likely that you would get the eczema on your face or other sensitive skin areas. Hands are quite tough, so a rash there indicates contact dermatitis to me. (I''m not a medical professional, this is just a personal observation from many years of itching)

Reply to fellow sufferer
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012/07/26

Dear Anre
I can imagine that you must be desperate. You can certainly ask any medical doctors (your gp or the Dermatologist) to send you for allergy tests to determine what range of allergens you may be allergic to. By range of allergens I mean broad groups like: food or chemicals or cosmetics or grasses and pollen or animal hairs or house mites, etc. If your eczema is in any way related to food, then it is important to first determine which foods are implicated to prevent you cutting out whole essential food groups unnecessarily and then developing deficiencies. I would firstly recommend that you have the allergy tests done and if foods are implicated then consult a registered dietitian to help you apply the elimination diet to pinpoint which foods are the culprits and which compound or processed foods you will need to avoid because they contain the allergens. In addition the dietitian will have to help you compile an individual diet prescription so that you do not develop deficiencies if you have to cut out certain foods.
Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. You can also contact the Allergy Association by visiting their Website at: www.allallergy.net to find out more about allergies and their possible relationship with eczema.
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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