25 August, 2011
Corn Allergy and Eczema
Corn is a grain commonly used to add texture and flavor to many foods from baked goods to infant formulas. Your body can become allergic to corn if your immune system mistakes it as harmful and "attacks" it with antibodies and histamines. The symptoms of corn allergy include stomach problems, tingling of the mouth, swelling of your throat and skin reactions. Corn allergy can also worsen a skin rash called eczema.
Eczema is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction that is similar to allergic reaction. Eczema is a common skin rash in infants and people usually outgrow it by adulthood. Eczema affects about 1 percent to 10 percent of infants. However, only 50 percent of the infants don't have symptoms by the age of 2, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Food allergies, such as corn allergy, can worsen or cause a flare up of eczema in infants but rarely in adults.
Eczema is an itchy rash characterized by oozing and crusting blisters, redness and inflammation of the skin, thickened, leather-like areas of the skin and skin coloration changes. Your skin can also turn raw because of scratching. Eczema most commonly starts from the scalp, face, hands or feet in infants, and from the inside of the elbows and knees in older children and adults. However it can spread all over your body during severe outbreaks, according to MedlinePlus.
Eczema is treated with lotions and medications that help reduce the itching and inflammation of the skin. Take a bath using an allergenic soap and then moisturize your skin with a cream or a lotion that does not contain any chemicals such as alcohol, scents and dyes. You may also use a mild cortisone or steroid cream as recommended by your doctor. Avoid scratching the affected areas. Trim your fingernails and cover your infant's fingers with mittens. Humidifiers can also help reduce symptoms by preventing your skin from drying out. Eczema can also be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
Pay close attention to the ingredient labels and avoid all foods that contain corn, corn meal, corn syrup, corn oil, corn sweeteners, corn alcohol, corn flour, corn starch, grits, maltodextrins, sorbitol, popcorn, vinegar, dextrose, vegetable gum or starch, or modified gum starch. In recipes that call for whole corn kernels, such as soups or stews, try substituting other starchy vegetables such as peas or potatoes. Substitute corn flour or meal with all purpose flour, oat flour or potato starch in recipes.
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