Eczema Rarely Linked to Food Allergy

From Dave Stukus, Nationwide Children’s: Eczema: Separating Fact from Fiction

An excerpt:

Many parents are told that if they can find the ‘cause’ of their child’s eczema and eliminate exposure, then their skin will improve. Unfortunately, this is not the case because the cause of eczema is a disrupted skin barrier, which leads to excessive water loss, dryness and itching.

Parents with a history of allergies or eczema often have babies with eczema. About 40% of children with eczema have a mutation in a protein called filaggrin, which is important in reducing the gap between skin cells. If the skin barrier is disrupted, as in eczema, then irritants and allergens are more likely to pass through and cause irritation, itching, and rash, but this is not the ‘cause’.

Children with eczema, especially those with persistent, severe cases affecting most of their body, are at higher risk to develop allergies and asthma as they get older….

In rare instances, specific foods may be a major contributor to a child’s eczema, but this is the exception and typically affects infants less than one year of age with truly unmanageable, severe eczema, despite good daily skin care.

Breastfeeding mothers everywhere are incorrectly told to stop eating dairy or other foods to ‘treat’ their baby’s eczema. Not only is this unnecessary for most mothers but can lead to significant problems associated with a restricted diet…and not actually treat the eczema.

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