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The itchy truth: the connection between eczema and food allergies unraveled

The itchy truth: the connection between eczema and food allergies unraveled

Babies who suffer from eczema in their first year of life are often confronted with a lot of itching. As a parent of a baby who suffers from eczema, it can be a difficult and worrying time. You see your little one scratching constantly and may worry about the consequences. It can be reassuring to know that some children grow out of eczema. However, eczema can be associated with a predisposition to various (food) allergies. It is important as a parent to be alert to possible food allergies and take the right steps to keep your baby comfortable and healthy. This article reveals the link between eczema and food allergies and what you as a parent can do yourself!


“It concerns approximately 20% of children and 2-5% of adults,” - Marjolein de Bruin, dermatologist and researcher UMC Utrecht


 What causes baby eczema?

The exact cause of eczema is not known, but hereditary predisposition plays an important role. It often occurs in families with a predisposition to allergies such as hay fever, asthma and food allergies. It is usually unclear which environmental factors play a role. Often it concerns several factors at the same time. It is not possible to change the genetic predisposition to eczema, but the factors that trigger the condition can be influenced


What are the risks of eczema with babies?

Eczema is not caused by food allergies. However, babies with eczema are more likely to suffer from this. About 30-40% of babies with eczema also develop a food allergy, such as chicken eggs, cow's milk, peanuts and tree nuts. The explanation for this is that the skin normally provides good protection that ensures that nothing can easily enter the body. If the skin barrier is broken - for example in the case of eczema - certain substances can enter the body via this abnormal route. Consider allergens such as dust mites, proteins from eggs, milk or peanuts, which can cause an allergic reaction.


Defense reaction

In babies with eczema, the body may regard foods that enter through the skin as foreign, which can lead to an immune response. This can manifest itself in acute reactions such as swelling, shortness of breath and vomiting. An allergic reaction can worsen existing eczema by activating the immune system. This reaction on the skin shows differences from that of eczema. Although eczema is more common in children with allergies, eczema is not caused by allergies. Food allergy usually does not play a role in the development of eczema. In rare cases, food allergies can trigger a flare-up of eczema.


How can a food allergy be prevented in a baby with eczema?

It is important to treat eczema with a cream that soothes and protects the skin. The risk of a food allergy is much higher if food enters through the broken skin. Would you like more information on this? Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.

Furthermore, it is important not to put babies with eczema on a diet and to introduce them to peanuts, chicken eggs, and nuts as early as possible to prevent allergies. You can do this by feeding your baby peanuts, eggs, and nuts. This helps the body recognize them as food. If children continue to eat peanuts, nuts, or eggs, it becomes difficult for the body to develop a new allergy. The recommendation for babies with eczema is to start introducing peanuts, nuts, and eggs before 6 months of age. By starting early with the introduction of different food allergens to your baby, it is possible to reduce the risk of food allergies.


Concluding Advice

Yes, if your baby has eczema, it is essential to be extra vigilant about food allergies. Babies with eczema are at a higher risk of developing food allergies, which can exacerbate their eczema and affect their overall health. By introducing allergenic foods early and using the right skincare products, you can help prevent your baby from developing food allergies. It is important to understand this connection between eczema and food allergies and to take proactive steps to protect your baby's health.  Use our various starter kits to introduce allergens to your baby in a healthy, safe, and easy way. Safe because our products are measured in 3 or 6 escalating steps. Healthy because they are free from additives such as salt and sugar, and easy because the product the powders are easy to stir trough babyfoods.