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Eczema and vegetarianism

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I've had eczema or atopic dermatitis since I was pee-wee little. I'm 23 now. I'm getting tired of it, I'm not even sure if it's actually specific food that's causing or exacerbating it, if it's just psychophysiological, maybe environmental or some combination of them. So just to eat healthy and eliminate some possibilities, I'm thinking of going vegetarian/pescetarian for a while with as little of dairy products as possible. I'm not really sure how long I should go on such diet to see if it's actually effective but I'm giving it a 3~4 month try.

So my ultimate question is:

I was wondering if anybody here has become vegetarian/pescetarian and became eczema free (or almost free)?


If you have any tips or concerns, feel free to voice them. Thanks a bunch!

Edited Jun 14 2014 10:47 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie and/or spam bumps
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I'm not vegetarian and I don't suffer from eczemia, but I have a friend who is lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and has eczemia. In her case her diet does nothing at all to help with the skin condition, and it's the environment that causes it to flare up. She finds if it's really humid out it gets quite bad.

If you want to become vegetarian for other reasons then go for it, but it's unlikely that eliminating meat from your diet will help with your skin condition.


I won't lie, I was secretly (or not) hoping for positive answers.. Tbh, I'm pretty sure it's not really food that's causing it. You'd think after 23 years, you'd figure out when you eat ___, you start scratching like a madman.

Docs tell me to minimize consumption of pork, dairy products and some fish. So I will. And I happen to be going through a phase where I'm not really interested in meat. Something about the taste of meat that's not appealing.. So I'll continue trying to be veg/pesc. Thanks much for the information, mogochud!

I suffer realy bad eczema behind my ears/scalp and always have. I'm lactose intolerant, and hate pork and fish lol, so I can safely say that no, cutting those things out is unlikely to help!! Mine is worse when I dont drink enough water. So the summer is my worst time.

I had terrible eczema from the age of 5 when I hit my late teens it calmed down a lot, but I still occasionally gets boughts now and again.

For me it is stress induced, and when it's bad I get more stressed and get into a vicious cycle.  The last bought lastes for 12 months and in the end I was given a course of tablets to get it under control, that was about 18 months. 

I do notice that full fat milk affects me, but I'm fine with other dairy (not that I eat that much of it anyway).  I'm also VERY allergic to fabric softner/conditioner and can only use one type of washing powder.  So it you use softer, try without for a couple of weeks.

As for being vegetarian I was for 6.5 year, from the age of 21 - 27 and can honestly say I've noticed no difference since starting to eat meat again.

Hope that helps, I know how horrible it is to be itchy!

Were any of you treated for asthma as a child?  I'm asking because there is a naturopathic doctor who says he's found a correlation between the two.

That's not a new finding, asthma, hayfever & eczema are all linked. 

I've noticed as my skin gets better ny hayfever gets worse!

Wow, actually I can say yes to your question because I went vegetarian 4 months ago and my eczema (which had always cursed me with its presence) did clear up.  It wasn't my reason for going vegetarian of course, but it was certainly a good by product.  My hunch, though that's really all I have to go on, is that I might have been allergic to something that is added to meat.   I can't say that going veg will work for you but it might be worth a try.  I wish you luck :)

My son had very severe ecezma when he was a child.  Due to the eczema when he had a cold sore it spread to his whole body and my dr told me he could die.   I got tired of the drs saying nothing would help.   I started doing research and found a severe exezma person who had a diet that worked for them.   I put my son on the diet and in 6 months he was perfect.   Its a hard but I believe healthy diet so most wont want to follow it unless they are serious about getting rid of their eczema.   It is basically a raw vegan diet with some mild modifications.   Feel free to contact me if you want more details.



Edited Jun 14 2014 10:47 by coach_k
Reason: edited to remove personal contact information

My skin clears up a lot when i eat HEALTHY! For my body this means a lot of veggies, expecially raw ones in lots of different colors.  If i have a lot of bread, flour, sugar etc, this is when my skin really flares up...   Its less about no meat for me and my skin, and more about lots more veggies.. Might be different for you though! It is always worth a try...

My personal trainer told me he used to have eczema all this life until he gave up dairy products. Now he's fine, though it took about 6 months to "detox"/

I have been lacto/ovo vegetarian for a few years now & started to get excema back then.  I really thought mine was related to the stress of going to nursing school, but recently found out during a diet change (due to surgery) that while I was on clear liquids my excema cleared up really well.  As I started to add foods back in my diet, it confirmed my suspiciouns.  I am allergic to dairy, whey and soy.  Not so good for a vegetarian who's trying to get extra protein in alternative sources. 

What I have been using on my excema is a steroid cream at night with gloves when it's really bad & go to the tanning bed to help dry it out.  When the excema started on my face, I really got upset.  I couldn't use the cream there & my face was constantly itchy and bumpy :(       Since I omitted these foods, my face is back to being smooth again.

Good luck finding your true cause.  You could try omitting one thing from your diet at a time just to see.  It took about 2 weeks for me to notice a difference.

My 2 1/2 yr old daughter had severe eczema from birth. According to her pediatrician, the worst she'd ever seen. She was exclusively breast feed for the first year, during that time my wife went on a strict elimination diet. All the major sources to the vegetarian diet were offenders: soy, dairy, wheat, nuts, and eggs. We determined that her Eczema was dietary, when my wife gave up all those foods and her skin would clear up. It was a tough ride, but my wife's diet was actaully very healthy despite the eliminations. She basically ate a whole foods diet. Lots of veggies, fruit, legumes, whole grains (rice, millet, quinoa) and rice milk for calcium.

When my daugther began eating solid food we slowly introduced foods. Again it was a battle, it seemed like she was allergic to everything and her RAS test essentially validated that. She was eating pretty much what my wife was eating along with breastfeeding. At 2 1/2 now, her condition has greatly improved. And while the diet was rough at times, in many ways it was a blessing. She eats so well now. How many kids requet beans and brown rice or pasta and tofu for breakfast? She eats a varied diet of whole foods and loves, broccoli, tofu, beans, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, sunflower butter and even kale. She has outgrown allegies to wheat, soy, and some nuts, and we hope eventually to eggs and dairy.

Other things that have led to her improvement are antihistamines perscribed by her dermatologist and an omega 3 supplement.

Elination diet is probably the way to go because RAS tests can be wildly inaccurate.

My brother has quite bad psoriasis. Since changing to a vegan, low-fat diet he has seen an amazing improvement.

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My severe eczema cleared up - and turning vegan (and wheat-free) had something to do with it, I think. Here's my story:

I've had eczema since I was a child and it varied in severity all my life, caused much embarrassment as a kid, and lessening a little only after highschool. 4 years ago, my skin suddenly got really bad, with severe itching and terrible, full body rashes - which would clear up after 6 weeks and recur only a month or two later. Some doctors called it hives, others called it eczema, and I think it was both. After going from dermatologist to dermatogist, allergist to allergist, with no results whatsoever (cortisone and anti-histamines simply stopped working), I decided to try traditional Chinese medicine. The first doctor I went to explained that this persistent itch and rash cycle was a result of an overtaxed, over-sensitive immune system due probably to an accumulation of toxins and stress (I have a stressful job, relying on many fast-food meals to get me through the day, and I suffer from anxiety). I cut out wheat and dairy, and he gave me herbs that detoxed my system and after a while, the intense itching stopped! Some stubborn patches, however, remained, and I would often relapse every two months or so, for about 4 weeks. Another doctor recommended that I cut out meat (incl eggs), along with the dairy, and wheat, change my lifestyle to include at least 8 hours of sleep - more if I can manage it -and meditation. This, along with 3 sessions of herbal steam showers, and more herbs with anti-anxiety properties, the stubborn patches disappeared in 2 weeks and I am virtually eczema free. I had to change my diet and my outlook on life, but it has been worth it. It's amazing how thoughts and emotions can affect your health, especially your skin. The best thing is both my TCM doctors insist that I will be able to eat anything I want once my system is stronger and balanced. I think that by giving my body a rest from digesting meats, wheat, and dairy, and giving my mind a rest by taking life a little easier, my body will quit malfunctioning in the form of itcing and eczema.

yep for me its mostly stress related. I was holidaying in Europe for five weeks, came back to melbourne two weeks ago and have exams in a week. My eczema has gone crazy.
Soaps, detergents etc. also make it flare up. But sometimes I'll just get it for no reason, and I'm pretty sure that there is a food that affects me, I just haven't worked out what it is. I'm not vegan, but vegetarian, and when I eat less dairy etc. it doesn't seem to make much difference.
Sorry, I didn't really help, I was just ranting about the mysterious causes of my eczema...

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in 2009 yo posted that your eczema was healed in 4 months after going vegi.  Are you still vegitarian? how is your ezcema. My wife has been struggling for 2 years and has to stay home because she cannot get shoes on at times.. She is going Paleo  with her dient and it is a lng slow recovery.

She had an extreemly stressful year just before all this started. What happened just before your eczema set in? They say it can be stress related. Just trying to help my poor wife.


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in 2009 yo posted that your eczema was healed in 4 months after going vegi.  Are you still vegitarian? how is your ezcema. My wife has been struggling for 2 years and has to stay home because she cannot get shoes on at times.. She is going Paleo  with her dient and it is a lng slow recovery.

She had an extreemly stressful year just before all this started. What happened just before your eczema set in?

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in 2009 yo posted that your eczema was healed in 4 months after going vegi.  Are you still vegitarian? how is your ezcema. My wife has been struggling for 2 years and has to stay home because she cannot get shoes on at times.. She is going Paleo  with her dient and it is a lng slow recovery.

She had an extreemly stressful year just before all this started. What happened just before your eczema set in?

No I'm a vegetarian. My eczema hasn't changed at all since becoming a vegetarian.
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On the dairy front, I have a success story for you!

I've had eczema on and off since I was conceived, essentially. A bit less than two years ago, it got really bad, and was all over my hips (the standard place for my eczema). So I had that for a while, put ointment on it and stuff, nothing really worked. At the time I was a lacto-vegetarian.

Then last summer, I cut out the dairy and embraced veganism. My eczema went away pretty damn quick.

You can imagine how ecstatic I was :P

This may have been an isolated incident, because I was lactose intolerant as a child, as well as suffering from severe acid reflux when fed ANY sort of milk as an infant.

It really is worth a try though. If dairy is the cause of your eczema, cutting it out of your diet would would probably show fairly rapid results.
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