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5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Eczema

Eczema, also know as atopic dermatitis is a skin condition where patches of skin are rough, scaly and itchy. Both external and internal factors can cause eczema, but most who develop eczema is most likely inherited from their parents. If one parent has had eczema or other atopic diseases such as asthma, the children will be at risk of developing eczema. If both parents have it, the likelihood of their children having it will increase even more.  

Though tropical creams are usually prescribed for those with eczema, there is no known cure. However, there are some known Traditional Chinese (TCM) herbs that have beneficial properties for the skin. 

When eczema flares up, it can be very uncomfortable, itchy and also painful. Other than the environment such as the hot weather in Singapore that can worsen eczema, the food we eat can trigger eczema too. Here are five surprising foods you should avoid to prevent worsening your eczema.

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#1. Grapes

Grapes are full of fibre, potassium and other vitamins and minerals which may help in preventing cancer, heart disease and other health problems. However, if you have eczema, you might want to exclude grapes or grape-products such as wine in your diet! They contain three natural chemicals which are known to trigger itching and worsen eczema – salicylates, amines and monosodium glutamate (MSG)

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#2. Broccoli

Broccoli might come as a surprise for many as it is considered one of the superfoods, being rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Many parents have also included broccoli into their children’s diet from young for its many health benefits. However, like grapes, broccoli also contains the three naturally-occurring chemicals that have been shown to trigger itch for people with eczema. Hence it is best to avoid broccolis.

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#3. Sugar

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sugar can increase inflammation, causing swelling and redness which worsens the eczema symptoms. This does not only include refined sugar. All kinds of processed sugar, such as brown sugar which is often touted as the healthier choice compared to refined sugar can increase inflammation too. Cut down your intake of sugar by switching your sugary drinks to plain water or tea instead!

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#4. Dried fruits

All types of dried fruits contain the three naturally-occurring chemicals with one more itch-promoting ingredient – sulphur dioxide which is used as preservatives. Dried fruits are delicious and a great addition to your salad to make it more flavourful, but it will make those with eczema itch like crazy!

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#5. Tomato

Tomatoes are usually used in dishes commonly seen in Singapore. They are also rich in antioxidant lycopene, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Besides that, they are full of nutrients as well, such as vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K. Though they are nutritious and healthy, they can trigger your itch if you have eczema! Cooked tomatoes are even more itch-triggering compared to raw tomatoes due to their high acidity after being cooked. Instead of using ketchup or tomato-based sauce to add flavours to your dishes, opt for other seasonings instead!

Though it might look like there are a lot of dishes you have to avoid because of these ingredients, there are actually tons of alternative to them! Try to exclude these ingredients for a few months to see improvements. You can also try health supplements made with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbs as part of your diet plan!