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Eczema From Food Allergies: Proof in Pictures

Everyone talks about the sweet perfection of a baby’s skin. Soft, smooth, and flawless. But it’s not like that for every family, and definitely not our food allergy community.

When you notice red spots, bumps, or redness all of a sudden, your mind starts racing. You can’t help but run through what could be causing your precious baby’s skin reaction. Was it the dressing on the salad? The waiter triple-checked with the chef… Or maybe it’s the new laundry detergent and NOT food allergies? Ugh…the mental anguish.

Our poor brains trying to figure it out. Our little people not being able to tell us what’s wrong. Or how about your frustration with the lack of answers? Being a parent is hard — and having a food allergy baby with skin reactions is even tougher. You need to uncover the underlying cause, and we get that.

Today, we're diving into the different types of skin reactions, personal pictures directly from the Free to Feed library, and the best treatments to soothe that baby skin and your mama heart.

Clearing Up The Term Eczema (pun intended)

Numerous terms describe reactions on the largest organ in our body — the skin! A lot of them are different types of Eczema. It’s confusing at times, so let’s break down what’s important in understanding your baby’s skin reaction.


Eczema is “the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed,” as defined by the National Eczema Association. It’s caused by a response from your baby’s immune system. Eczema encompasses many different types of skin conditions, so it’s used as a blanket term.

The 7 main types of Eczema are [1]:

  • Atopic Dermatitis

  • Contact Dermatitis

  • Neurodermatitis

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap)

  • Stasis Dermatitis

  • Dyshidrotic Eczema

  • Nummular Eczema

No quiz, don’t worry! It just goes to show the many different types of skin reactions related to eczema that are possible. Many babies are diagnosed with atopic dermatitis during their food allergy journey, so let’s learn a little more.

Atopic Dermatitis:

One of the many types of eczema, it’s distinguished by a scaly, dry rash that comes and goes, and may itch. Since babies can’t scratch themselves, they might squirm more (cue heartbreak now).

Usually located on cheeks and bendable areas like elbows or knees, atopic dermatitis reactions can occur within minutes or hours after exposure. It’s caused by food proteins (allergens) or products like detergents, lotions, and shampoos.

Plus, other skin conditions occur for various reasons, which leads to more confusion for everyone. Acne, for example, is a completely different type of skin condition and is not a response from the immune system like eczema.

Is Your Baby Having Skin Reactions From Food Proteins?

Eczema involves both genetic and environmental factors. Experts see a correlation between the recent rise in both eczema and food allergies in infants. We know food proteins transfer into breastmilk and can cause a reaction in your baby.

The answer? Maybe…

When navigating food allergies, keep in mind that no two babies are alike. It’s important to get everyone on board to find the root cause of your baby’s skin issues from an allergist, pediatrician, and one of our food allergy experts.

We’re going to show you some important pictures of skin reactions with permission from personal families Free to Feed has helped over the years.

Each Image is a Confirmed Skin Reaction From a Food Allergy:

WARNING: Sensitive Images Below!