Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT, reveals how you can prevent and manage flare-ups through diet.
It is estimated that over 30 million Americans have a skin condition called eczema, which generally causes dry and itchy rashes on the body. Most people will go through phases of heightened symptoms, called flares, and times of remission where symptoms improve or go away completely. Rosemary Barclay, the founder, and owner of the Bonne Santé Wellness Center in Old Lyme, CT, explains that the condition can be found in many forms, including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, or seborrheic dermatitis.
Although the exact cause is unknown, genetics, environmental factors, and diet are believed to play a role. Rosemary Barclay, a board-certified nutrition specialist in Old Lyme, CT, believes in the power of following nutritious diets explicitly suited for your body and its allergies. When a healthy diet is paired with staying hydrated and drinking water, contact dermatitis flares and symptoms may be reduced. Many people are surprised to hear that their condition can be treated naturally by something as simple as changing their diet.
It is common for people with eczema also to have food allergies, which means the immune system is triggered in response to eating certain foods. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, Ct, recommends getting tested for allergies using a blood and skin test. The blood test checks for antibodies of specific foods, while the skin test introduces small amounts of allergens to the back or forearm. It’s crucial to get this done because, in addition to flare-ups, allergies may cause gastrointestinal issues and shortness of breath.
Another way to test your tolerance of foods is by trying an elimination diet. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT, suggests removing a particular food from your diet for a few weeks. Monitor your skin performance during this time, then slowly introduce the food back into your diet. If your flare-up symptoms come back, that food is likely a trigger.
Elimination diets are also an excellent way to identify other conditions you may not have been aware of, such as celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or irritable bowel syndrome. Rosemary Barclay believes everyone should try the elimination diet to understand their body better. Some foods simply make you feel bloated, tired, and unmotivated, while others give you energy and boost your mood!
According to Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT, people with skin conditions should focus on a diet that reduces inflammation. Avoid processed foods that are loaded with hydrogenated fats and non-organic sources of meat. Additionally, fill your diet with natural anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, herring, walnuts, flax seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT., notes that garlic, ginger, and turmeric also hold anti-inflammatory properties.
Many supplements have also been shown to reduce inflammation, including purified fish oil, omega 3s, DHA, and EPA. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT., suggests visiting a certified nutrition specialist who can help you decide which supplements to introduce over time. Patients will typically see results at six to eight weeks of a consistent diet plan.