Many people with eczema may also suffer from hay fever, asthma and food allergies If they do not have these now, they often develop them later, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Those who have a dust mite allergy, or who develop one later in life, also have eczema. Some studies have shown that as many as 3 in 10 infants with eczema and a family history of allergy will develop some type of food allergy.
While food allergies do not cause eczema, they can often aggravate the skin condition in children. Children who are allergic to egg, soy, milk nuts, seeds, wheat or seafood often have worsened eczema. Many of these allergies disappear during the first years of life, in which case eczema is not worsened by the foods they eat in most cases. Adults with eczema rarely have a food allergy that worsens eczema.
Symptoms of Worsening Eczema
Though it is uncommon, some people experience worsened eczema after eating certain foods. These symptoms include itching and scratching and may develop around two hours after eating the trigger food. Swelling and itching around the mouth may also develop. Hives, which are fluid-filled lumps that itch, may develop on the skin. Some people also experience wheezing, itchy eyes, sneezing, and digestive problems, including stomach pain and vomiting.
Occasionally, a person who eats a trigger food may not experience more itching from eczema for 6 to 24 hours after consuming the food. If you notice that you are scratching more often and that your skin is itching more than usual, this could be a sign that something you ate is making your eczema worse.
Dairy products, including milk, ice cream, and yogurt seem to aggravate eczema in some people. It is also possible for a peanut allergy to be connected to worsening of eczema, but scientists and doctors are not sure of the connection between food allergy and this itchy skin condition. Eggs are another food known to be a trigger for eczema in those who have an egg allergy. Allergy testing is the best way to know if a certain food is causing your eczema to worsen.