3 Forbidden Foods for Children with Atopic Dermatitis

Children with atopic dermatitis should remove a number of foods from the diet that could intensify symptoms.
3 Forbidden Foods for Children with Atopic Dermatitis

Last update: 21 April, 2022

Children with atopic dermatitis should remove a number of foods from the diet in order to improve their health status and prevent outbreaks of the disease. It’s been shown that the consumption of certain low-quality products with a high content of artificial additives could exacerbate their symptoms.

Before starting, it’s worth noting that in the presence of any sign of atopic dermatitis, it’s best to consult a specialist. In some situations, you’ll need to act from the pharmacological point of view, especially in the most severe cases. In this way, the symptoms can be reduced and kept under control with the implementation of some dietary habits, such as those that we’ll share with you today.

Keep reading and find out which foods are worth restricting in your little one’s diet to optimize their well-being and health.

Forbidden foods in children with atopic dermatitis

Next, we’re going to tell you about the prohibited foods that should be avoided in children with atopic dermatitis in order to control their symptoms. Likewise, we’ll tell you why you should promote the intake of beneficial foods, such as those that concentrate omega-3 inside. Take note!

A young boy eating a donut.
Industrial pastries may contain artificial additives and trans fats, and both components are capable of exacerbating the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

1. Industrial bakery products

Industrial pastries usually contain large amounts of trans-type fatty acids. These elements have shown to be capable of increasing inflammatory mechanisms in the internal environment and thus contribute to the development of many chronic and complex illnesses.

For the skin, these fats aren’t suitable either, as in addition to causing inflammation, they cause oxidation and accumulation of free radicals in this tissue.

Many of the frequently consumed ultra-processed foods contain them among their ingredients. Sometimes they’re listed on labels as partially or fully hydrogenated fats, so it’s key to read carefully and choose those foods that don’t contain them.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar, being a highly acidic condiment, is capable of slightly altering the pH of the skin. In general, human skin maintains values close to 7 for this parameter and this translates into an adequate balance for tissue health.

In the case of consuming such acidic products, the acid-base imbalance that’s generated throughout the body can lead to a resurgence of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Above all, in those who have previously developed alterations on the epidermis.

3. Gluten

Although the current evidence isn’t strong on this topic, some trials suggest that reducing gluten in the diet could improve the health of atopic skin. We’re talking about a protein present in many grains, but which can have a certain inflammatory character, especially in genetically predisposed people.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s a lot of debate regarding the consumption of this component. A few years ago, it became fashionable to remove gluten from the diet for everyone, something that’s not positive for health. Beyond the fact that this protein may not sit well in certain contexts, it’s not an evil nutrient. At least not according to the currently available evidence.

However, the consumption of gluten won’t suit all people with atopic dermatitis. Individual tolerance to this element can be tested and if the condition worsens, this is a sign that you should limit its presence in the diet.

A baby with eczema on his cheeks.
Atopic dermatitis is a disease that often begins in childhood and accompanies the child for life. Therefore, the early implementation of healthy habits can make a difference in its evolution.

Avoid prohibited foods in case children with atopic dermatitis

If you’ve developed atopic dermatitis, it may be positive to remove certain foods from the diet, such as those that we’ve mentioned previously.

Even so, it’s key to follow a diet based on fresh products with high nutritional density and plenty of vegetables because they contain high-quality antioxidants and vitamins. Also, oily fish and other sources of omega-3.

In the same way, it’s important to always maintain a good state of hydration, as sufficient water consumption is key to replenishing fluids and regulating the balance of minerals. This also helps to reduce itching, an aspect that improves the quality of life of people with dermatitis.

Finally, keep in mind that in some cases, it may be necessary to resort to micronutrient supplementation in order to reduce symptoms. You’ll need to consult a specialist first, but products high in omega-3s may work to reduce inflammation.

In any case, a good approach to life habits will make a difference.

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  • Hirata Y. (2021). trans-Fatty Acids as an Enhancer of Inflammation and Cell Death: Molecular Basis for Their Pathological Actions. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, 44(10), 1349–1356. https://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.b21-00449
  • Muddasani, S., Rusk, A. M., & Baquerizo Nole, K. L. (2021). Gluten and skin disease beyond dermatitis herpetiformis: a review. International journal of dermatology, 60(3), 281–288. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.15098