The Link between Food Allergies and Eczema in Children

The list of allergens and other irritants capable of triggering children’s eczema is a long one. From scratchy clothes to cold weather, many seemingly harmless things can set off an eczema flare up to a susceptible child. Not all children with eczema have food allergies.  Only about a third of children with moderate to severe eczema have food allergies. Those with milder skin condition are affected to a lesser degree. If a child with eczema doesn't seem to respond well to standard treatments, it might be good to take the child to an allergist for evaluation for food allergies


The link between the two concepts is complicated. But one thing's for sure: the incidence of food allergies and eczema continue to increase along with the increasing incidence of other atopic diseases like asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Food Allergies as Eczema Culprits

There are seven foods frequently linked to food allergies. These include the following:

  • Milk
  • Tree nuts
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Fish

Allergies to food usually manifest from mild to potentially life-threatening reactions and often happen immediately after consumption. Hives, itching and/or swelling of the lips may happen along with tummy cramps, vomiting and even difficulty of breathing and lowered blood pressure.

When the child develops any of these symptoms about half an hour after eating a certain food, consult your doctor so that the diagnosis may be confirmed. 

In some children who have eczema, certain food may lead to flare ups or may make it harder to manage the skin lesions.  If your child's rashes consistently get worse or appear after ingestion of a particular food, consult your dermatologist or allergist.

Controlling your Child’s Eczema

Failing to control your child’s eczema will affect their health and life quality. It increases their risk for skin infections, which results in unpleasant episodes of itching. The scratching can be distressing for both the child and you; after all, no parent wants to see their kids cry over red and swollen patches.

Controlling eczema can subdue flare-ups, but does not subdue food allergies. Even when a person is sensitized to a certain food allergy he/she may always develop symptoms of food allergy after exposure. 

Keeping the Flare-Ups Subdued

Start by moisturizing the child’s skin at all times. This improves the skin’s protective function and breaks the cycle of outbreaks. Even after they heal from eczema or their food allergy, continue with the moisturizing routine.

Also, use medications when necessary. Children and babies with eczema need a medical treatment plan, which includes ointments and creams that calm the immune system. The plan should also come with special instructions on when and how often to apply the ointment or cream.

When the itching and scratching begin, take note of your child’s eczema. Is it getting worse? Help your child avoid irritants by taking note of things or foods that trigger their flare-ups. Personal irritants differ from one kid to another; remember your child’s to keep them away from it.

Eczema and food allergies should properly be managed to help keep children healthy and happy. Keep them that way by being mindful of treatment plans and saying no to food that triggers flare-ups.


If symptoms persists, consult your doctor.

ASC Reference No.: B046P021921ES