Certain foods and beverages may cause your eczema symptoms to flare up. Some connections could exist between coffee and eczema, but more research is needed.

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Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes dry skin, scaly patches, blisters, and rashes.

Management plans and skin care routines will differ for each person. These may include a combination of lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, and taking certain medications to help prevent or reduce flare-ups.

Some people claim that drinking coffee may trigger eczema flares, while others say that topically applying caffeine may help improve symptoms.

Although the research is limited, this article reviews what is known about the relationship between coffee, caffeine, and eczema.

Coffee plays a positive role in the prevention of inflammatory diseases, which may include eczema.

Researchers have shown evidence dating back several decades that topically applied caffeine along with hydrocortisone may help reduce eczema symptoms.

A 2019 review of studies also noted that caffeine may have a positive effect on treating eczema.

However, it’s unclear if you’ll gain the benefits only from topical application of caffeine or if consuming it directly through coffee or other sources would also work.

There are also other factors to consider when assessing the effects of coffee on eczema, such as its role in stress.

There is limited evidence to suggest that your morning coffee habit may cause eczema symptoms to flare up.

A 2003 study noted coffee as one of the foods that can trigger eczema. However, this research is older, and more studies on the topic are needed to confirm this conclusion.

Organizations like the National Eczema Association don’t specifically list coffee as a known trigger food or an item to exclude or include in a diet.

Several inflammatory pathways could provide ways in which caffeine could cause eczema flare-ups:

  • Stress: Some research suggests that caffeine could trigger your adrenal gland to release cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Stress is a known trigger for eczema flare-ups.
  • Dehydration: Consuming high levels of caffeine may have a diuretic effect. This could lead to dehydration, which may then trigger eczema flare-ups.
  • Sleep: The dry, itchy, and sometimes painful skin lesions of eczema could cause sleep disturbances. However, poor quality sleep may also trigger an inflammatory response, which could worsen eczema symptoms. The National Eczema Association suggests trying to get 8 hours of good quality sleep.
  • Mycotoxins: These toxic chemicals are found in mold and could have negative health implications at high levels. Research from 2013 suggests that coffee beans contain traceable amounts of mycotoxins. However, you’re exposed to mycotoxins every day and the liver filters out the small amounts of toxins from coffee.

It’s important to note that more specific research is required to fully support how coffee affects eczema.

If you notice that drinking coffee triggers eczema flare-ups, eliminate it from your diet and see what effect this has on your eczema.

Limited research supports the use of coffee to help with inflammation. Studies that do exist tend to look specifically at the role of caffeine, independent of coffee.

For example, the authors of a 2019 review looked at the role of caffeine in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema) and psoriasis. Their results indicated that caffeine may help reduce inflammation, which can help eczema symptoms improve.

However, it’s unclear if the people receiving treatment applied the caffeine topically or ingested it. The researchers also did not directly note the use of coffee or examination of coffee’s effects.

Can coffee cause eczema to flare up?

No clear evidence suggests that coffee could directly cause eczema flare-ups. Coffee may indirectly impact eczema flare-ups through pathways like stress, sleep, and hydration levels. However, more research is needed.

Does coffee cause skin inflammation?

Coffee may cause inflammation through pathways like stress. However, research also suggests that it may have anti-inflammatory properties. More research is needed to explore the relationship between coffee and skin inflammation.

What drinks make eczema worse?

Some drinks that could trigger eczema flare-ups include cow’s milk, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

What foods aggravate eczema?

Food allergies may aggravate your eczema symptoms. The most common food allergies include peanuts, fish, shellfish, cow’s milk, eggs, soybeans, sesame, wheat, and tree nuts. Food intolerances may also trigger symptoms, such as gluten, lactose, or histamine intolerances.

The research on how coffee may impact eczema is very limited. While anecdotal stories are widely available, little scientific study supports either the risks or benefits of coffee on eczema symptoms.

If you experience eczema flare-ups after consuming caffeine, remove it from your diet and monitor your symptoms.

Speak with a healthcare professional if you can’t find the cause of your flare-ups. They could help develop an eczema treatment plan that’s right for you.