Can food allergies cause eczema?

Food allergies and eczema are they really linked?  It’s no secret that what we eat has a big impact on our overall health. And while there is a lot of debate about the role food allergies play in causing eczema. Additionally, research suggests that certain foods and allergies may contribute to eczema flare ups.  As a result, people with eczema prone skin are more likely to also suffer from some type of food allergy or food intolerance. For example, allergic reactions to food can also worsen skin problems, causing eczema, hives, itching, and redness.

Could a food allergy be triggering your eczema?

Food allergies are a common problem. Over the last 50 years, there has been a rise in food intolerances, disease, allergies, and behavioural disorders. Moreover, many have all been linked to changes in our food eco-system and poor dietary choices. Food intolerance can also be one of the most common triggers for eczema.   Yet often, our diets are not routinely identified as a root cause for skin disorders.

The signs and symptoms a food allergy is triggering your eczema

If you, or someone you know, suffers from frequent runny noses, sneezing, or a tummy ache after eating certain foods, it can be tempting to dismiss these symptoms.   In most cases, food allergies are a minor annoyance without lasting health consequences. However, as incidence and severity of allergies increases worldwide, it’s a good idea to take any evidence of allergies seriously.  Further more, remember to raise it with a doctor or get an allergy test to see if food allergies are triggering your eczema.

Skin allergies

Are caused when the skin comes into contact with an irritant or allergen such as laundry soap or by food sensitivities.  In addition, some skin allergies can lead to eczema, which, if severe, is best identified by a qualified  allergy specialist.

Seasonal allergies

Pollen and seeds commonly cause red, itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose, and can be asthma triggers. If your allergic symptoms are severe and impact your ability to be outside, we recommend seeking your doctor’s advice on allergy testing.  Furthermore, a trained specialist can help to diagnose the type of allergy and administer the most effective treatment for you. 


Hives is a skin condition that is caused by contact allergens, food or even insect bites. However, it is prudent to see an allergist if you experience hives frequently.  No matter what you suspect is the cause, it is always important to get correctly diagnosed.

Food allergies

Mostly, food allergies occur when your body has an inappropriate reaction to a harmless protein. Instead of recognising the protein as harmless, the body “sees” it as an invader, like a virus.  Resulting in, an immune system response being triggered.

In some instance, this can be very serious in some cases.   Food allergies can warrant a visit to a doctor or allergy specialist to help identify the specific trigger foods.  As a result, once the offending foods are identified with special allergy testing, you can eliminate them from your diet.

Some people will outgrow their food intolerances and  food allergies. However, for others, reading food labels and having an allergy action plan in case of accidental exposure are of paramount importance. If you have any questions we recommend talking to your doctor.

8 common food allergies to consider when dealing with eczema and itchy skin

The following  most common food allergens are believed to account for approximately 90 percent of all food allergic reactions as identified by The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Food Standards (FSANZ) Act 1991. Therefore, focus on removing these foods from your diet to improve your itchy skin and flare ups.

1. Milk

Cow’s milk is usually the cause, but sheep’s and goat’s milks can also cause reactions. However, some people who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to soy milk. The best treatment for a milk allergy is to avoid it completely. Young children can often — but not always — outgrow their milk allergy by the age of 3.

2. Eggs 

This is one of the most common allergies.  The egg white is what can produces the allergy. In most instances, symptoms usually start within a few minutes or a few hours of eating eggs or foods that contain egg.

3. Peanuts

People that display even a minor reaction to peanuts, should notify their doctor, immediately.   Even mild reactions to peanuts can become serious with future exposure. Most importantly, Peanuts account for a significant proportion of severe allergic reactions.

4. Tree nuts (ex: walnuts, pecans, almonds)

In addition, Tree nut reactions can also be severe. The best form of treatment is complete avoidance.  It’s critical, to read all food labels, and take note of labelling that says “Manufactured in a plant where tree nuts are also present” in order, to avoid cross contamination.

5. Soybeans

Found in foods like meat, baked goods, and cereals, for instance. Soybeans and soy are common causes of allergies. 

6. Wheat

Did you know wheat can be found in ketchup? And lots of other foods too, like cereal, bread, crackers, and soy sauce, for example. Wheat allergies should not be confused with celiac disease, however.    This is when gluten protein found in wheat causes an immune system reaction in the small intestine, and is a serious disease that need immediate medical attention.

7. Crustacean shellfish (ex: crab, lobster, shrimp)

Shellfish reactions can be as minor as hives and itching.   However, it severe enough they can to be life threatening, as seek immediate medical assistance.

8. Fish (ex: flounder, cod, bass)

Fish allergies are not the same as shellfish allergies. People who are allergic to fish may have reactions to some types of fish, but not to others. Some reactions can also occur simply from touching fish. Avoidance is your safest bet.

How do you know if you suffer from food allergies?

Food allergies cause itchy skin symptoms to surface sooner than many other issues.  In addition, these itchy skin symptoms are most often caused by a few specific foods. For example, if you have recently had milk, soy, eggs, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, or shellfish, your suspicion of a food allergy may be warranted.

Especially, because these foods account for approximately 90 percent of food allergies.  However, it is also important to note how long ago you ate these foods.    Food allergies typically cause acute symptoms within two hours of the food being eaten, with is why its important to observe.   Unlike food intolerances, which may cause symptoms as many as 12 hours later.

Four symptoms caused by food allergies

#1 Skin Reactions

Skin reactions, in combination with other key indicators, can also point towards an allergic reaction. An itchy skin rash, like hives or eczema,  may be an indicator that you are having an allergic reaction to food. Other skin reactions may include skin swelling around the eyes and lips, for instance.  If the rash or swelling is significant, worsening, or covers much of your body  seek medical care.

#2 Vomiting and Diarrhoea

If you feel sick to the stomach, are experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea, or are suffering from abdominal pain for example.   Your body may be trying to expel the food that caused the allergy. Since gastrointestinal symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, it is important to monitor your condition.  In addition,consider when and what foods you have recently eaten.

#3 Respiratory Symptoms

Food allergies can also affect your respiratory system, including your lungs and throat. This may cause difficulty breathing and other symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, a runny nose, or swollen lips, tongue, eyes, or face. You should seek emergency care if these symptoms result in trouble breathing or swallowing, or if you develop a short, barking cough as this may be a sign of anaphylaxis

#4 Anaphylaxis

If you experience signs of a full-body reaction within two hours of eating an allergen, call for emergency help immediately. This reaction is called anaphylaxis, and it affects multiple organ systems, in addition to causing blood pressure to drop. It may even cause a reaction within just minutes, in some case.   Symptoms such as, a sense of impending doom or fear, difficulty breathing, pale skin, dizziness, light-headedness, and loss of consciousness indicate a life-threatening emergency.

Eczema Bundle for soothing itchy, dry skin 

Finding a product that works can be difficult for those with skin sensitivities such as eczema or psoriasis. As a result, our eczema bundle has been specifically formulated with certified organic Manuka oil. Known for it’s powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, they work to soothe itchy skin and remove bacteria on the skin naturally. Our Body Wash is toxin free making it perfect for clearing bacteria on sensitive skin and promoting skin health.   Similarly, our Body Lotion is a excellent for soothing eczema prone skin and maintaining the skins overall barrier and health.

Why use Manuka Oil skincare products 

Manuka oil’s powerful antiseptic and anti-microbial properties work to actively soothe itchy skin inflammation. As a result, clinical trials suggesting that Manuka oil it has more effect on MRSA bacteriathan common tea tree oil.  Not only that, but Manuka oil has been shown to have exceptional cleansing and anti-bacterial effects against a wide range of microbes, including Staph bacteria.

Furthermore, it helps to soothe and instantly reduces inflammation, helping your eczema prone skin appear less red.  It also assists in speeding up the healing process of broken, cracked and painful skin and a thick, viscous nature that locks in hydration.

How to apply Manuka oil to the skin

If you are new to using Manuka oil or have sensitive skin, we always recommend that you dilute 3-4 drops with your preferred carrier oil such as jojoba, rosehip or sweet almond oil. This potent essential oil should not be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil

If you would like to read more detailed information on Eczema on the links below:

  1. Five Things You Can Do To Help Your Child’s Eczema
  2. Why Use Manuka Oil for Eczema
  3. All Natural Baby Eczema Treatment and Prevention
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    Eczema Relief Body Lotion Bundle

    Eczema Bundle

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Further Support?

For more information and advice on how you can treat and manage eczema, we recommend the following websites or joining our private Facebook community.   Remember, your health provider will be able to treat you with assessing and treating your symptoms.

New Zealand Eczema Association New Zealand

This organisation has an excellent website. A full list of eczema facts, forums, blogs, education and a support line, to help improve the lives of people living with eczema.

Australia Eczema Association Australasia

The leading professional organisation in Australasia providing comprehensive resources and a support line, to improve the lives of people living with eczema.

United Kingdom The National Eczema Society

Dedicated to the needs of people with eczema, dermatitis and sensitive skin, the organisation is an excellent source of support and information.

For further information talk to your doctor.

Information displayed on this site is intended for Australian and New Zealand residents only.  This is not designed to replace the advice of your healthcare professional. Use of, and access to, the information on this site is subject to the conditions set out in our Terms of Use.

2021-11-09T15:20:06+13:00October 31st, 2019|Eczema, Food, Gut Healing|



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