The Role of Food Allergies in Eczema: Tips for Parents

We will explore the role of food allergies in eczema and provide practical tips to help parents navigate this challenging aspect.

June 29, 2023

Photo by Michal Bar Haim

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects many babies. While the exact cause of eczema is complex, it has been observed that food allergies can play a significant role in triggering or exacerbating eczema symptoms in some babies1. As a parent, understanding the relationship between food allergies and pediatric eczema is crucial for effectively managing your child's condition. In this blog post, we will explore the role of food allergies in pediatric eczema and provide practical tips to help parents navigate this challenging aspect of their child's health.

Common Food Allergens

Several food allergens have been associated with triggering or worsening eczema symptoms in babies. The most common allergenic foods include cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, and fish1. However, it's essential to note that each child's triggers may vary, and not all children with eczema will have food allergies. Elimination diets or allergy tests can help identify specific allergens for your babe.

Identifying Food Allergies

It's important to work closely with a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician or allergist, to identify potential food allergies in your babe. They may recommend diagnostic tests such as skin prick tests or blood tests to determine specific allergens. Additionally, keeping a food diary can help you track any patterns between certain foods and eczema flare-ups in your babe2.

Elimination Diets

If you suspect that certain foods are triggering your baby's eczema, your healthcare provider may recommend an elimination diet. This involves removing suspected allergenic foods from your baby's diet for a period of time, typically two to six weeks, and then gradually reintroducing them while closely monitoring their skin's response. It's crucial to undertake an elimination diet under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure proper nutrition and avoid unnecessary restrictions1

Eliminating certain foods from your baby's diet may raise concerns about meeting their nutritional needs. Work with a registered dietitian or pediatric nutritionist to create a balanced and nutrient-rich meal plan that compensates for any eliminated allergens. They can guide you in finding suitable alternatives and ensure your babe's diet remains well-rounded and nourishing.

Label Reading and Food Preparation

As a parent of a babe with eczema and food allergies, it's vital to develop the habit of reading food labels carefully. Look for hidden sources of allergenic ingredients in packaged foods and educate yourself about different food names and labeling terminology. When preparing meals at home, use separate utensils, cutting boards, and cookware to avoid cross-contamination. Communicate your baby's food allergies clearly with caregivers, schools, and restaurants to ensure their safety outside the home.

Collaborate with Healthcare Professionals

Collaboration with healthcare professionals is key to effectively managing your baby's eczema and food allergies. Regularly consult with your pediatrician or allergist to monitor your baby's progress, discuss any concerns or questions you may have, and adjust treatment plans if necessary. They can provide valuable guidance, prescribe appropriate medications, and refer you to other specialists if needed1.

How to Give Your Babe Relief

Studies have revealed a notable link between eczema and food allergies, with eczema potentially acting as a risk factor for the later development of food allergies. A specific study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology demonstrated that infants with eczema had a significantly elevated risk of developing food allergies compared to those without eczema. Babies, classically messy eaters, tend to rub their food on their skin. If they also have eczema, food antigens can get into the body through skin breaks caused by scratching. The immune system then produces IgE antibodies against the food3. A full coverage baby bib could potenitlaly be a valuable tool in effectively reducing the risk of food allergies in infants because our bibs offer comprehensive coverage, safeguarding both the baby's attire and their delicate skin from potential irritants. By establishing a protective barrier between the baby's skin and food, A full coverage baby bib, such as Bibbrella, can help minimize direct contact with potential allergens. This proactive measure could potentially assist in preventing sensitization and the development of food allergies in babies.


Understanding the role of food allergies in pediatric eczema empowers parents to make informed decisions regarding their baby's diet and overall management of the condition. By working closely with healthcare professionals, identifying potential food allergens, implementing elimination diets under guidance, ensuring proper nutrition, and practicing diligent label reading and food preparation, parents can effectively support their baby's health and well-being. Remember, every babe is unique, and what works for one may not work for another, so personalized care and ongoing communication with healthcare professionals are essential in managing pediatric eczema and food allergies successfully.


1. Sidbury, R., Davis, D. M., Cohen, D. E., Cordoro, K. M., Berger, T. G., Bergman, J. N., Chamlin, S. L., Cooper, K. D., Feldman, S. R., Hanifin, J. M., Krol, A., Margolis, D. J., Paller, A. S., Schwarzenberger, K., Silverman, R. A., Simpson, E. L., Tom, W. L., & Williams, H. C. (2014). Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: Section 3. Management and treatment with phototherapy and systemic agents. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71(2), 327–349.
2. Eigenmann, P. A., & Sicherer, S. H. (2008). Pediatric Allergy: Principles and Practice (2nd ed.). Mosby.
3. “How scratching may prime children with eczema for food allergy and anaphylaxis.” EurekAlert!, 30 April 2019, Accessed 29 June 2023.

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