6 Healing Foods To Beat Skin Inflammation
Better Nutrition|August 2019

Fight back against psoriasis, eczema, and other disruptive conditions with these six healing foods

Lisa Turner

Inflammatory skin conditions are generally characterized as either acute or chronic. Acute skin inflammation can be caused by allergens such as poison ivy, exposure to irritants (think fragrances or household cleaners), infections, and even sun exposure. These usually resolve in a week or two, generally without any tissue damage.

Chronic inflammatory skin conditions are a different matter: caused by an ongoing inflammatory response within the skin itself, these conditions—such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or rosacea—are long-lasting and can cause tissue damage and other complications.

To reduce flare-ups, avoid or eliminate certain foods from your diet, including fatty red meats, fried foods, sugar, dairy, soy, and gluten. In addition, nightshades (such as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers) are thought to worsen psoriasis. Eggs, citrus, nuts, seeds, shellfish, legumes, chocolate, and other foods are thought to trigger eczema. It’s also thought that foods high in histamines can exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions. These include alcohol, fermented or smoked meats, pickled food, canned fish or other canned foods, aged cheese, dried fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, citrus, legumes, cinnamon, chocolate, and wheat. And some studies show that obesity can worsen inflammatory skin conditions, especially psoriasis.

In general, an anti-inflammatory diet rich in antioxidants can help, especially if it focuses on foods that also strengthen and protect the skin. Here, six of the best:

1 Salmon is rich in omega-3 fats, which have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers, support immune function, and improve inflammatory skin conditions. Some studies show that fish can fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions that affect the skin, including psoriasis and lupus. Omega-3s also protect skin from dryness and itching and may decrease sensitivity to the sun. Salmon is also high in vitamin D, which may benefit people with psoriasis. And while some people with eczema may be sensitive to fish, research shows an early introduction of fish in the diet can decrease the risk of eczema in infants.

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