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Do Tomatoes Aggravate Eczema?

author image Laura Niedziocha
Laura Niedziocha began her writing career in 2007. She has contributed material to the Stoneking Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Lambertville, N.J., and her work has appeared in various online publications. Niedziocha graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She also has her Associate of Arts in communications from the Community College of Philadelphia.
Do Tomatoes Aggravate Eczema?
Tomatoes can aggravate eczema. Photo Credit altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you begin to notice redness, scaling and uncontrollable itching on your skin, you may have eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that is caused by an over-reaction of the body to an external stimulant, such as perfume, lotion, dye or food allergens. Tomatoes are a common food associated with causing and aggravating eczema.

Tomatoes and Eczema

A food sensitivity can prompt eczema or make it worse. Within six to 24 hours of eating a trigger food, you may see your eczema becoming progressively worse. Tomatoes and other citrus-like fruits are considered a typical trigger for eczema. Other foods including milk, soy, wheat, eggs, fish and nuts may also trigger a reaction.


If tomatoes are worsening your eczema, it may be a sign of a slight allergic reaction. A food allergy can be dangerous, especially if it progresses beyond a simple eczema rash. If you suspect tomatoes are giving you eczema, make an appointment with your doctor to speak about the likelihood of a food allergy. Otherwise, look out for signs of a food allergy worsening. These include trouble breathing, swelling, abdominal pain, mouth tingling and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek out medical help right away.


Perform an elimination diet to determine if tomatoes are aggravating your eczema. To do this, stop eating the suspect food, in this case tomatoes, for two to six weeks. After that time, eat tomatoes to see if your eczema comes back or worsens. If it does, eliminate the food again to see how your eczema symptoms progress. An elimination diet should be done under the supervision of a doctor, especially if you suspect a food allergy, not just a food sensitivity.

Eczema Treatment

Treating the symptoms of eczema can help to make your life a little more comfortable. After the recommendation of your doctor, you can apply a topical steroid that can help relieve the itch and pain of eczema. Avoid scratching your eczema as this will also make it worse. Take short, cool baths and use only unscented wash and shampoo that also contains no dyes. If your eczema comes in contact with your clothing, wear cotton as it is softer on the skin.

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