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Christine asked...

Eczema causes

In the last two months I have begun to get eczema. I have been told this is something I have to get used to and to work out the triggers myself. I have an emollient and some steroid cream. Apart from changing my washing powder how can I find out what is causing the problem? Can it be food related i.e milk and dairy? I am 65 years of age. I wait to hear from you.

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The answer

We can develop reactions to foods or every day products we come into contact with as we age, even things we have tolerated without any problems throughout our lives. Allergy testing does not always identify the problem. Trying to identify the cause of the eczema can be very difficult.

You may have to look at everything you use on your skin, such as soaps, shower gels, lotions and powders, even cleaning products used around the home. Changing to unperfumed and hypoallergenic products may help, and natural based cleaning products for the home is another consideration.

Food wise, dairy products are known to be a trigger for eczema, the only way to be certain if this is the cause is by eliminating all dairy from your diet for 4-6 weeks to see if your skin improves, and then slowly reintroducing dairy to your diet to see if there is an issue.

Keeping a food diary may help with this. If dairy is not the trigger and you still feel food may be the cause you may want to consider an elimination diet, this is where you have a basic diet of unprocessed foods and gradually reintroduce other foods to see if you have any reaction to the foods, again food diary is very useful with this process. Hopefully this will help you.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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