Q. "My son has eczema that always flares up in summer, making him uncomfortable and embarrassed. Are there any specific food triggers? Or any dietary changes that can help?"
Jim, Southbank, VIC
A. Accredited Practising Dietitian Brooke Longfield responds:
Heat, sweat and products that can irritate skin, such as sunscreen, can exacerbate eczema in the warmer months. Dry skin can aggravate eczema, too, so your son should try to moisturise two to three times a day. Cold compressions and wet wraps can also relieve the itch.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce symptoms, say experts, so feed your son good sources, such as oil-rich fish, two to three times a week, or ask your son’s doctor about fish-oil supplements.
Eczema can be triggered by foods such as eggs, nuts and wheat, so if you suspect food
is the culprit, it’s worth seeing an Accredited Practising Dietitian who specialises in food allergies before you start restricting or redesigning your son’s diet.