Review of evidence for dietary influences on atopic dermatitis

Skin Therapy Lett. Jul-Aug 2014;19(4):5-7.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting children and adolescents worldwide. The relationship of AD to diet has been a matter of curiosity for many years. Here we look at the evidence in the literature of the association between AD and diet, and the effectiveness of elimination diets and diet supplementation in the management of AD. Several studies have found an association between clinical food allergy and AD, and more recent investigations have also suggested that dietary elements may promote late AD exacerbations. Diet elimination trials in select patients who are clinically allergic to eggs have shown promise in reducing symptoms. Additionally, elimination of food additives in a subgroup of patients was found to be beneficial. Finally, diet supplementations with evening primrose oil and an omega-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid) may be appropriate in certain AD candidates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diet therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Egg Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid / administration & dosage


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid