There’s no exact diet for eczema, but certain foods may help alleviate skin symptoms. Try adding these seasonal summer foods to your eczema eating plan.

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that causes discolored, itchy patches of skin. Symptoms can come and go, sometimes with no obvious patterns.

As you get into the summer months, there can be new challenges with your eczema. Overheating and sweating can irritate your skin and worsen your symptoms. For some people, certain foods may trigger an eczema flare.

There’s no exact diet for eczema. However, some research suggests that including certain foods may help manage your symptoms. Here are some summer foods to enjoy that may also play a part in improving your skin.

Salmon is high in omega-3, a type of healthy fat. Some research notes that omega-3, especially from fish, can help lower inflammation in the body. Because eczema is an inflammatory condition, it’s thought that these healthy fats may help lower the immune response that triggers skin symptoms.

Some research looks more specifically at how omega-3 may play a role in eczema. Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in maintaining normal moisture levels in the skin. Research suggests that a lack of omega-3 may increase the risk of eczema.

You can avoid heating up your kitchen by grilling salmon on the barbecue outside.

If you’re looking to expand your diet beyond salmon, other fish high in omega-3 include anchovies, sardines, trout, and mackerel.

Local strawberries are a sign of summer. They’re also a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C may support skin health in different ways. It plays a role in wound healing, is an antioxidant, and is needed to maintain normal collagen levels in the skin.

Research has shown that people with eczema have lower levels of vitamin C compared to those without the condition. When you have eczema, there may be benefits to eating foods high in vitamin C.

Enjoy fresh strawberries on their own or add them to salad or yogurt.

Added bonus? Strawberries and other berries also contain water to help keep you hydrated. If you find it hard to drink enough water, adding strawberries provides a flavor boost.

Oats are a great way to add fiber to your diet. A high-fiber diet is helpful to support the good bacteria in your digestive system. Much of our immune system is located in the gut. It’s estimated that 70%–80% of our immune cells live in our digestive system.

Keeping a healthy balance of gut bacteria may help to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of eczema. Oats are a source of fiber and are also a type of prebiotic. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in our digestive tract. Some research explores how prebiotics may help with eczema.

Oats aren’t just a winter food. While a hot bowl of porridge may not be your thing in the summer, you can try overnight oats or no-bake energy balls as cooler ways to fit oats into your day.

Onions are a source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds in certain foods that are associated with lower levels of inflammation. Flavonoids may help regulate immune system activity to reduce symptoms of eczema.

Onions are another source of prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your digestive system and help them thrive.

Onions can be eaten raw or cooked. They work well in salads or grilled along with other vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms.

If onions aren’t your thing, flavonoids are also found in other fruits and vegetables. Cherries, berries, citrus fruits, broccoli, and leafy greens are also sources.

Research has shown that, when used topically, green tea has some anti-inflammatory effects that might reduce the symptoms of eczema.

An older study of participants with eczema showed that consuming 4 cups of oolong tea each day helped to reduce their symptoms.

Some people enjoy a hot cup of tea, even in the summer. If that’s not you, try tea iced instead. On hot days, cool tea in the fridge and serve it with ice.

Along with potential anti-inflammatory benefits, drinking tea is a great way to stay hydrated. This is extra important in the summer when you may be sweating more. Staying hydrated is important for skin health.

Fermented foods are created through a process where yeast or bacteria break down (ferment) the sugars found in the food. There’s ongoing research on the role of fermented foods in gut health and overall health.

A 2016 study suggested that people who consume more fermented foods had lower rates of atopic dermatitis, a common type of eczema. Fermented foods may improve the colonies of healthy bacteria in your gut. This supports your immune health.

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean food. It’s often made with radishes and cabbage, but other vegetables can be used. Kimchi can be enjoyed as a cold side, or it can be added to pasta, salads, or eggs.

Other fermented foods to add to your eczema eating plan include yogurt, doenjang (soybean paste), sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha.

Several summer foods may help eczema symptoms by taming inflammation in the body, balancing gut bacteria, and hydrating the skin.

Some people also find that eczema symptoms can be triggered by certain foods. If you suspect this is true for you, consider keeping a food and symptom journal to find out more.