Festive Foods & Flaky Skin
By Taya Hosking - 01/12/22
Triggers to avoid this festive season to keep skin flare ups to a minimum
The festive season brings with it the four f words… fun, family, friends and FOOD.
Everyone can relate to the feeling after Christmas Day lunch, when you’ve indulged on a few too many sweets, consumed one more cocktail than you should have, and loaded up on Aunty May’s potato bake.
Although it may seem like festive fun, for those that suffer with skin conditions, it can actually be the trigger that begins a flare up.
What are common food triggers?
Everyone is individual so what may trigger one person, may not be an issue for another. As well as this, different skin conditions may be triggered by different foods. Here are some of the most common triggers for:
- Cow’s milk (dairy)
- Red meat (bacon, sausages, processed meat)
- Dairy products
- Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers)
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Dairy products
Why are these foods’ triggers?
The most common reason that a food is a trigger for a skin condition is because it causes inflammation. However there can be other reasons that a particular food may aggravate your skin condition.
Citrus fruits - citrus fruits release histamines (chemicals produced by immune system), which can aggravate conditions such as rosacea by causing dilation of the tiny blood vessels under the skin.
Red meat - consuming high amounts of red meat can increase inflammation within the body, which can result in a flare up of psoriasis/eczema as these are conditions linked to inflammation.
Dairy products - the main fat compound found in milk is saturated fat, which may lead to inflammation in the body.
Eggs - eggs are known to be one of the main allergies for those that suffer with eczema, due to the proteins in them. Many that are allergic to chicken eggs, may be able to consume eggs from other animals.
Nightshades - these contain a chemical compound called alkaloids which can cause inflammation.
Let’s Talk Alcohol
Alcohol is a hot topic during the Christmas season. There’s work parties, family dinners, extra nights out, and simply more alcohol being consumed for the average person. What can this mean if you suffer from a skin condition though? Well, for those that suffer from rosacea, it may irritate your symptoms more than usual.
This is due to a compound in alcohol called acetaldehyde, which causes flushing of the skin, presumably by releasing histamines.
This flushing may be referred to as ‘asian flush’ however for rosacea sufferers, it just exacerbates their current condition.
For eczema sufferers, it can lead to a lack of moisture in the skin, as alcohol is a diuretic.
This can cause the body to become dehydrated, causing dry skin which can result in a flare up.On the other hand, alcohol can cause an inflammatory response in the body due to proteins in it, as well as the fact that it can interfere with the body’s gut microbiome.