These twelve foods could make your skin itchy, but then again, the might not! The itchy dozen are the twelve foods most linked to inflammation in the skin, itching and triggering an eczema flare up. What you need to do scientifically cut one out, and then watch to see if you get itchy when you reintroduce it to your diet.
Keep a Food, Mood and Symptoms Diary but make sure you check ignredients and note down everything you eat in the day! A dietician would be able to help you work out what might be causing problems if you’re not sure.
You can download my own food diary when you Sign up for my newsletter here.
Here are the itchy dozen, mostly the foods that are high in amines, salicylates and natural MSG and acidic either before or after cooking.
- Cow’s milk – We’re talking all dairy products including cheese, milk, yogurt, cream, crème fraiche, butter, all of it, is hard to digest and is thought to the food most likely to cause irritation for people with eczema.
- Grapes are acidic and also contain salicylates, commonly known to trigger eczema and inflammation of the skin.
- Oranges – similar to the grapes, tomatoes etc. oranges are acidic an high in amines and salicylates.
- Kiwi fruit – another one that’s very acidic and high in salicylates and amines.
- Soy sauce/tamari sauce – Rich in amines and natural Monosodium Glutamate. It can also have added artificial MSG and both are possible trigger for sensitive skin.
- Tomato – contains salicylates, amines and natural MSG. Weirdly, you might find raw tomatoes are OK as they are alkaline, however once cooked, tomatoes are very acidic and can make some people very itchy.
- Avocado: It is one of the richest sources of amines and salicylates so it can be really problematic for those with eczema. You may find you can eat it small quantities but lots in your diet could cause a lot of itching.
- Dark green vegetables –Including veggies such as broccoli, spinach and kale. Also packed full of those pesky salicylates, amines and natural MSG.
- Dried fruits – such as apricots, dates, figs, sultanas and any other dried fruits are high in salicylates, MSG and amines, and some contain the “itchy” preservative sulphites.
- Processed meat – including sausages, ham, bacon, meats with flavourings added and all the processed meats you find on the deli counter. These can be high in nitrates, flavour enhancers and saturated fats, which are all bad of eczema. Processed pork and beef can also be very itchy when digested, adding to the itchy burden.
- Corn – Cornflakes, popcorn and corn biscuits are also rich in salicylates and strongly acidifying (once digested).
- Junk food – All the junk food, you knew it wasn’t good didn’t you. We’re talking ready meals, fast food, especially coloured lollies and sweets, crisps containing artificial colours and flavours, including MSG and other artificial flavour enhancers and they are highly acidifying due to the high sugar and fat content.
You may be able to eat some or all of these, but keep an eye on your intake and be observant. It could be making you itchy!
Which do you find make you itchy? I find tomatoes definitely affect me. I’m not sure about kiwi and avocado and need to do some careful assessments for the others.
Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels
Marlene Hochstrasser says
Thank you so much for your informative blog as usual. What are your thoughts on eggs as a potential trigger for eczema? I do find them as a challenge especially for children?
Ruth Holroyd says
Hi Marlene, oh yes, eggs can be a huge trigger for eczema. Any foods could be I guess but eggs, particular for kids can be one of the top ones to look out for. Might be that cooked egg is safer? Interestingly I grew out of my egg allergy and can eat them now, but will actually monitor whether they make me itchy. I don’t think they are high in the salicylates, amines etc. but can definitely be one of the top14 allergens so I’d watch out for the eggs!