Can Changing Your Diet Improve Eczema and Psoriasis?

by Ella

Inflammatory skin conditions affect a significant portion of the population in the UK, with eczema impacting one in five children and one in ten adults, while psoriasis affects about one in 50 people. These conditions, characterized by itchy and uncomfortable skin, have no known cure, but various treatments can help manage symptoms.

The Role of Diet in Skin Health

Diet plays a crucial role in skin health, influencing conditions from acne to potentially more serious issues like skin cancer. Research suggests that chronic inflammation in the body, linked to conditions such as psoriasis, can be affected by dietary factors.


Obesity and High-Fat Diet

Professor Claudio Mauro from the University of Birmingham has conducted research indicating a connection between obesity, high-fat diets, and inflammation in the body. Studies with mice showed that a high-fat diet exacerbated inflammatory immune responses, particularly when fat accumulated around the abdominal area. Conversely, omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially mitigating these effects.


Relationship Between Eczema and Food Allergies

People with eczema often have a higher likelihood of food allergies, but recent insights suggest that eczema itself may predispose individuals to develop these allergies, rather than the allergies causing eczema. Carsten Flohr, a dermatology expert at King’s College London, explains that early exposure to food proteins through the skin, such as during baby massages or skin moisturization, may sensitize infants to develop allergies. This underscores the importance of parental diets and practices in managing eczema risk in children.


Breastfeeding and Allergy Prevention

While breastfeeding has been traditionally associated with reducing the risk of food allergies in infants, the evidence supporting this is mixed. Flohr points out that early introduction of potential allergens through oral exposure, such as peanuts, may actually prevent allergies compared to delayed introduction. This approach reduces the likelihood of infants developing sensitivities to these foods through skin exposure.



Understanding the intricate relationship between diet, inflammation, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis is crucial. While dietary adjustments may not cure these conditions outright, they can play a significant role in managing symptoms and potentially reducing the risk of exacerbations. Further research is needed to clarify the precise mechanisms through which diet impacts these skin conditions, but current findings underscore the importance of a holistic approach that includes diet management alongside medical treatments.



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