The Link Between Eczema and Food Allergies
There is now a clear connection between eczema and food allergies. While eczema (atopic dermatitis) may be triggered or worsened by common food allergies such as those to eggs, milk, wheat, soy, and peanuts, eczema itself may be responsible for the development of food allergies in the first place. Learn about how eczema can lead to allergies, who are more likely to develop them, and when you may want to be screened for food allergies if you or you’re are a child are newly diagnosed or living with eczema.
Eczema and Allergic situation
Both eczema and food allergies are common, with eczema affecting roughly 20 percent of children and up to 5 percent of adults in developed countries. For many children, the symptoms develop during the first year of life, and many of these children will outgrow their symptoms. For roughly 10 percent of people, however, the symptoms of eczema don’t appear until adolescence or adulthood.
While the connection between the different allergic or “atopic” diseases has long been known, in this review, the connection between eczema and food allergies was very clear. Looking at the studies together, up to 81 percent of the people with eczema were found to have a food allergy. This was a fairly correct diagnosis, as the diagnosis of food allergy was made via a food challenge (the people were given the suspect food to eat and developed symptoms of an allergy).
People who have more severe eczema are more likely to develop food allergies. Food allergies are also more general in those who develop eczema early in life than in those who have a later onset of eczema.
Common Food Allergies Associated With Eczema
The foods that most usually appear to trigger eczema are also among the most common food allergens in the United States:
Eggs: An allergy to eggs has been associated most strongly with eczema
Milk: Milk allergy is also very general and is different than lactose intolerance
Soy: Soy allergy may reason symptoms such as a rash or hives, but also has the potential to be life-threatening with angioedema or anaphylaxis. Soy allergy is different than intolerance.
Wheat: Wheat allergy can also be severe at times and is different than gluten intolerance
Peanuts: Many people are familiar with a peanut allergy as even small exposures can reason severe reactions for some people.
The signs and symptoms of food allergies may be immediate or delayed, occurring only a few hours after eating the offending food, or occurring 24 hours or later. Food allergies can give rise to a wide variety of symptoms from nasal congestion and sneezing, to abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting, hives and a rash and more.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction may contain lightheadedness (low blood pressure), palpitations (an irregular heart rate), flushing, itching and hives, complexity breathing or wheezing, headache and confusion, and others, and urgent medical attention is required.
Diagnosing Food Allergies in People with Eczema
Some physicians recommend screening for food allergies in anyone with eczema, whereas others believe that not everyone needs to be concerned. The concern that holds some back from testing is those false positives fairly often and you shouldn’t have to change your diet for no reason.