Diet For Managing Eczema: Foods To Eat & Avoid


Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

MBBS MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Diet For Managing Eczema: Foods To Eat & Avoid

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin. It affects people of all ages but is most common in children. People with eczema tend to have an over-reactive immune system. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The Link Between Diet and Eczema

The relationship between diet and eczema is an area of ongoing research, with studies suggesting that some foods trigger eczema flare-ups. It’s unclear if specific foods cause people’s eczema symptoms to worsen or improve, but some evidence suggests that certain foods may worsen symptoms while others could provide relief.

This is likely due to how foods influence inflammation and the body’s immune response. Identifying and modifying dietary habits can be a useful strategy for some people in managing eczema symptoms more effectively.

While there is still ongoing research on this topic and not enough consistent evidence to support this, it is still good to keep a healthy, well-balanced diet in general for overall skin and physical health.

Foods To Eat

Omega-3 Rich Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory effects, may reduce eczema symptoms. Specific sources include:

  • Salmon: A fatty fish high in EPA and DHA, two potent forms of omega-3.
  • Flaxseeds: These seeds are a plant-based source of ALA, another type of omega-3.
  • Walnuts: Rich in ALA, walnuts are beneficial for skin health.

Foods High in Probiotics

Probiotics support gut health and may improve eczema by enhancing the immune system. Beneficial sources include:

  • Yoghurt: Especially those labelled with “live and active cultures”.
  • Kefir: A fermented milk drink with a wide array of probiotic strains.
  • Sauerkraut: Fermented cabbage that provides probiotics and fibre.

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help manage the inflammation associated with eczema. Notable foods include:

  • Berries: Such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, rich in antioxidants.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach and kale contain vitamins and minerals that combat inflammation.
  • Turmeric: A spice with curcumin, known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.


Diet changes may affect how well you manage your eczema. Certain foods may trigger flare-ups, while others could offer relief by affecting inflammation and immune responses. Managing your diet by adding omega-3-rich foods, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory options, and avoiding potential allergens and other irritants could be a strategic way to control eczema symptoms. However, the research on diet and eczema is still ongoing, more studies need to be done. It is therefore important to always consult healthcare professionals before making any drastic dietary changes for eczema management.

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