Are Skin Flares Caused by Your Diet?

Is your itchy skin flare linked to your diet? Possibly, but foods or drinks aren’t always the trigger for a skin condition known as atopic dermatitis (AD). This article examines the connection and how you can stay healthy.

Atopic Dermatitis and Your Food Triggers

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that results in occasional dry, cracking skin flares. This can make it hard for you to sleep and is linked to allergic conditions.

About 16.5 million people in the United States have atopic dermatitis. It is more common in infants but can also happen to adults. Yasmin Bhasin, an allergist in Middleton, NY, said most kids get fewer flares over time, or it stops completely. She also said there is a tendency to outgrow these skin reactions by age 5, and it gets better in 90% of cases.

Possible food triggers for skin flares are:

● Eggs

● Soy

● Wheat

● Fish or shellfish

● Rice

● Sesame seeds or oil

What’s Happening?

If atopic dermatitis flares seem to happen after consuming certain foods, it becomes easier for you to avoid triggers. However, Jessica Hui, MD, a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health, said you should not be quick to make the connection and ban these foods from your shopping list. She also said there are different myths and terms still to clarify.

You might see a rash and think it’s an allergy when you have atopic dermatitis. However,
knowing the differences between atopic dermatitis and a real food allergy is crucial.

Tiny Skin Cracks

Atopic dermatitis can cause tiny cracks in your skin, which are invisible to the naked eye. Hui said normal-looking skin around red, inflamed flares in individuals with atopic dermatitis and food allergies is different. She also said the skin acts as a protective barrier, keeping moisture and disease-causing allergens out.

Should You Cut Gluten Out of Your Diet?

In recent years, gluten has been linked to multiple health conditions. However, Bhasin said gluten is not a common cause of skin reactions and food allergies. He also said you don’t have to eliminate gluten until your doctor confirms you are allergic to it, and you should avoid it.

Hui said elimination diets are not a good idea for growing children. She also said you should give your kid a variety of foods unless your pediatrician says not to.


Certain ingredients in your diet can cause skin flares. However, you should contact your doctor about what meals to avoid to help you stay healthy.