Many factors can contribute to the severity of your child’s eczema symptoms. In some cases, eliminating common allergens such as milk and eggs may help reduce symptoms or prevent flare-ups.
It can be especially difficult to manage eczema in infants and toddlers.
Here are 7 foods to consider avoiding for babies and toddlers with eczema. Keep in mind that it’s always best to speak with a healthcare professional before eliminating foods from your child’s diet.
Eczema — also known as atopic dermatitis — is a common condition that can cause red, itchy, and inflamed skin.
Although eczema can affect anyone, it’s especially common among children. In fact, about
Many factors can worsen eczema flare-ups, including foods.
Research suggests that certain foods may trigger eczema in
While foods do not directly cause eczema, making dietary changes
Eliminating common allergen foods from children’s diets
However, more research is needed, and it may not be necessary to avoid all the foods listed below to help manage your child’s eczema. Speak with your child’s doctor for guidance on what to limit or avoid.
Certain foods may worsen symptoms of eczema, especially in infants and children. However, it depends on your child’s particular allergies or sensitivities, so speak with a healthcare professional to determine which foods might be best to eliminate.
Preventing food allergies
Introducing common allergen foods to an infant early in life may actually
If you’re considering eliminating certain foods from your child’s diet or you’re concerned about your child developing food allergies, speak with a healthcare professional. They can help you develop a diet plan based on your child’s needs.
Research suggests that eliminating one or more of these foods from the diet may significantly improve symptoms of eczema in some children.
One study in 132 children with food-triggered eczema found that
Several plant-based milks are available as alternatives to cow’s milk, including soy milk, almond milk, and cashew milk. But be sure to check the ingredient lists carefully, as some of these products are high in calories and added sugar.
2. Fish and shellfish
The term “shellfish” refers to all aquatic animals that have shell-like exteriors, including crabs, lobsters, oysters, mussels, and shrimp. Meanwhile, most types of fish, including salmon, trout, tuna, and tilapia, have fins and scales.
Although both fish and shellfish are highly nutritious and can be great sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, they can also worsen symptoms of eczema for many children.
This is because fish and shellfish allergies
While some children may be sensitive to finned fish or shellfish, others may experience reactions only to certain types, such as crustaceans (like shrimp and crab) or mollusks (like oysters and clams).
A pediatrician or registered dietitian can help determine which specific types of seafood may trigger symptoms in your baby or toddler.
3. Soy products
If your baby or toddler has a sensitivity to soy products, keep in mind that many processed foods contain soy-based ingredients, all of which
- soy sauce
- soy protein
- textured vegetable protein
Some babies or toddlers may have an allergy to the proteins found in egg whites or yolks, which
Furthermore, a 2019 review reported that infants with eczema were nearly
However, most egg allergies in children resolve by around
Additionally, some babies and toddlers who are sensitive to eggs may be able to tolerate them in some forms, such as baked eggs.
5. Tree nuts
Tree nuts could worsen eczema for many young children with tree nut allergies. Examples of tree nuts include:
Tree nut allergies may affect up to 1.2% of children in the United States.
Allergies to tree nuts can be very serious, and some
In addition to avoiding tree nuts, your child may need to avoid foods that contain them, including pesto, nut butter, coconut products, and certain types of cereals, cookies, crackers, and candies.
6. Wheat or gluten
Wheat is a cereal grain and a staple ingredient in many foods, such as bread, pasta, and baked goods.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that gives dough its structure and elasticity.
Eczema and skin rashes
While there is no test available to diagnose non-celiac gluten sensitivity, your child’s doctor can use a skin or blood test to help determine whether your child has celiac disease or an allergy to wheat.
Peanuts are a
Peanut allergies are especially common among babies and toddlers, as most peanut allergies appear within the first 2 years of life.
If peanuts cause flare-ups of eczema for your baby or toddler, try using substitutes such as seeds and seed butter in your favorite recipes.
Some of the most common foods that cause allergies in infants and toddlers are dairy, fish, shellfish, soy products, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs.
Several foods can be beneficial for eczema and may help reduce symptoms such as itching and inflammation.
For example, fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that can protect against oxidative stress, cell damage, and inflammation.
Although studies in humans are still limited, some
Increasing your intake of probiotics through fermented foods or supplements may also be helpful.
However, more research is needed because
Including more foods rich in antioxidants and probiotics in your child’s diet could be beneficial for eczema, but more research is needed.
What else triggers eczema in infants?
Possible triggers for eczema in babies include their own sweat and saliva, as well as exposure to dry air, smoking, pet dander, and pollen. Sometimes babies can scratch themselves, which can make the symptoms worse.
Eczema can also be triggered by clothing, laundry detergent or fabric softener, baby powder, wipes, and fragranced shampoos and soaps.
What foods cause eczema in breastfed babies?
In theory, many of the same food allergens that might trigger eczema in older children and adults could cause eczema in infants who are exposed to breast milk.
For many babies and toddlers, diet can play a key role in managing symptoms of eczema.
While certain foods can make eczema symptoms worse, others may decrease inflammation and oxidative stress, which could reduce symptoms.
However, it’s best to talk with a pediatrician or dietitian before making any changes to your child’s diet, especially because eliminating certain foods from their diet could make it harder for your child to meet their nutritional needs.
Additionally, keep in mind that many other factors can contribute to eczema and some children may need other types of treatment to help relieve symptoms.
Just one thing
Try this today: Consider experimenting with some at-home remedies for your child’s eczema. Check out this article for a few ideas to help provide relief for your baby or toddler.