How does diet affect atopic dermatitis ?
Food is our main source of energy. Thanks to it we can carry out the rest of the essential activities of our life. For this reason, the choice of food we eat has a direct impact on our health.
The skin, as other organs, can deteriorate or lose some of its properties depending on the diet. However, diet is an exogenous factor that affects the quality of the skin. That means that diet, such as smoking and stress, depends fundamentally on us.
In general, it is recommended to choose healthy eating habits that help to maintain a healthy and strong skin; although, according to some experts, people with atopic dermatitis should pay especial attention to the diet. But why? How does diet affect atopic dermatitis skin?
Foods that improve or aggravate atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is an inflammatory disease characterized by producing itchy lesions. Therefore, any food that favors inflammatory processes will promote an intensification of the outbreaks.
Currently, more and more health professionals are talking about a possible relationship between diet and atopic dermatitis. However, it should be remembered that the causes of this disease are multifactorial: endogenous factors, such as genetic predisposition, and exogenous factors, such as climate, are involved.
It is recommended that people with atopic dermatitis take foods with the following properties into their diet:
- Omega-3-rich foods. Examples are blue fish such as salmon and tuna, also vegetable oils, such as olive oil, and walnuts.
- Foods with high content in vitamins A, C, D and E. Like carrot, pumpkin, cantaloupe, watermelon, orange, avocado, almond, and oatmeal.
- Foods with high content in minerals as selenium, zinc and magnesium. Such as walnuts, almonds, oats, plain cocoa, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains.
A diet that includes these foods will help to keep the skin in good condition and promote the proper functioning of the immune system. In fact, a vitamin, fat or mineral deficiency can lead to a dry and flaky skin and, a consequent worsening of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Foods to reduce or avoid
Some dermatologists claim that there are foods that can aggravate atopic dermatitis, such as peanuts, smoked meat, corned beef, berries, and dairy products.
In addition, it is convenient to avoid foods with high content in sugar and saturated fat, and coffee or alcohol, since they promote inflammation and itching.
Why should you follow a diet that respects your skin?
As you have seen, there are general food recommendations, although each one should adapt their diet to their needs, considering their personal circumstances.
Eating habits that respect your skin will reduce the likelihood of outbreaks of atopic dermatitis and, consequently, the discomfort that these carry with them, such as itching, pain and even infections.
But remember, before making any modification to your diet, you should consult with a nutritionist, who can advise you on which foods to incorporate or eliminate from your diet.
And if, in addition to your diet, you incorporate the right skincare products into your routine, you can achieve a healthier and stronger skin.
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Dermatitis atópica. Alimentación y dermatitis atópica. 2019.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. Can food fix eczema. 2021.
Wollenberg A. Consensus-based European guidelines for treatment of atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) in adults and children: part II. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Jun;32(6):850-878.