Does Sugar Affect Eczema Skin Rashes?

Does Sugar Affect Eczema Skin Rashes?

Cupcakes are amazing — in moderation! I snapped this picture in Austin, Texas in November 2019.


I’ve battled skin irritation for years. After my dermatologist diagnosed me with three forms of eczema, I started using a variety of prescription skin creams, overhauled my skincare routine and monitored my diet to see if food affected my skin.

Although my skin has improved immensely over the six months, I’ve noticed a new cycle that I need to address. My dessert binges align with red, rashy legs. Is it due to the sugar?

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I Miss You, Cupcakes!

I’ve cut out overtly sugary desserts (meaning cookies, cupcakes, candy) for the last three days and my legs are starting to heal. I haven’t changed my skincare routine or used any new topical treatments.

So, I’ve been wondering, does sugar affect my eczema skin rashes?

For me, I believe it does. So, I’m going to attempt to avoid major sources of added sugar for a bit to get a better gauge on how sugar affects my skin. I’m not going to fret about small amounts of added sugar in salad dressing or canned soup. But, my daily cupcake and cookie binges need to go while I experiment with what works best for my skin.

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What Do the Experts Say?

A blog post from Dr. Andrew Nish from my local hospital, UnityPoint Health, says that sugar ages us both internally and externally and the more sugar we consume, the more our skin suffers. Sugar can trigger an increase in acne, wrinkles, sagging skin on the neck, dark skin spots and make cuts heal more slowly.

And beyond our skin, sugar heightens our risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia.

The National Eczema Association says there is a link between eczema and food allergies or sensitivities. When it comes to atopic dermatitis (AD), one of the forms of eczema I manage, it’s not uncommon to discover that seafood, peanuts, eggs, alcohol, gluten — and sugar — trigger rashes.

If you have concerns about skin irritation, or how to manage eczema, please consult a medical professional. I work closely with a dermatologist to manage atopic dermatitis, rosacea, contact dermatitis and skin complications stemming from celiac disease.

Until next time,
Choose healthy!

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