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Chocolate & Eczema

By Diane Marks

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that is similar to an allergy that is triggered by certain factors, such as dry skin, extreme temperatures and foods. Even people who do not suffer from a food allergy, need to be aware of particular foods that can cause an eczema flare-up, according to the Dr. Kaslow website. Chocolate, among other foods have been shown to aggravate the skin, leading to eczema. If the patient shows consistent flare-ups after eating chocolate, he should eliminate chocolate from his diet.

About Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that causes inflammation, itching and small blisters to develop. The Mayo Clinic states that the cause of eczema is still undetermined, but children with parents who have asthma or allergies are considered at a higher risk of developing the condition. Eczema is like an allergic reaction, in that it is a hypersensitivity to the skin. There is no cure for eczema. Identifying the different elements that trigger the condition is the best way to manage it.

Chocolate Consideration

Chocolate can cause an eczema outbreak in some people, according to Dr. Kaslow. When a person eats chocolate it can cause toxins in the body to raise in the surface of the skin, irritation it. If the individual is allergic to chocolate or dairy products and suffers from eczema, consuming chocolate will lead to a flare-up. Other foods that have been associated with eczema are eggs, wheat, fruits, nuts, corn, fish and cow’s milk.

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Symptoms

If chocolate is triggering eczema, the following symptoms will develop within a few minutes and up to an hour after ingesting the chocolate. These symptoms include raw areas of the skin, blisters that ooze and crust, skin color changes, thickened areas of the skin and extreme itching, according to MedlinePlus. If the person is allergic to ingredients in chocolate, she may develop shortness of breathe, hives and nasal congestion.

Treatment

The Mayo Clinic states that the most effective treatment for eczema is to eliminate known triggers from a person's lifestyle. Avoid eating chocolate and products containing cocoa or cow’s milk. General treatment once the rash is apparent is to use hydrocortisone creams, cover the exposed skin, use cold compresses to reduce itching and redness and take an oral antihistamine, according to MedlinePlus.

Complications

A common complication from eczema is secondary skin infections, such as impetigo. If a person scratches the skin, the skin can break, leaving it open to harmful viruses and bacteria. To prevent secondary infections, keep open wounds covered.

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