Food Allergies and Atopic Dermatitis - Topic Overview
Some children with moderate to severe
atopic dermatitis also have some type of
food allergy. Although the link between food allergies
and atopic dermatitis is not fully understood, some children with atopic
dermatitis are thought to have a food allergy that triggers rash and
A few common foods are responsible for most allergic
reactions. In adults, shellfish, fish, tree nuts
(such as walnuts or almonds), and peanuts cause 90% of the allergic reactions.
In children, foods high in protein cause 90% of the allergic reactions. These
include peanuts, milk, wheat, soy, fish, and eggs.
Doctors don't know exactly what causes eczema. The most common type of eczema -- atopic dermatitis -- resembles an allergy. But the skin irritation, which is more often seen in children rather than adults, is not an allergic reaction.
The current thinking is that eczema is caused by a combination of factors that include:
abnormal function of the immune system
activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive
defects in the skin barrier that allow mo...
help of a doctor, you can find out whether certain foods are linked to your or
your child's symptoms by trying an elimination diet. But there is little
evidence that dietary restrictions improve symptoms of atopic
An elimination diet consists of the following
Eliminate one food at a time from the diet,
observing and recording any changes in symptoms over the next days or
Reintroduce the suspected food to the diet. Foods that you
are allergic to will cause an
allergic reaction within a few hours. But foods will
not make atopic dermatitis symptoms show up within hours.