Dry, inflamed and itchy skin can be incredibly difficult to live with and pinpointing the cause is often a difficult process. A quarter of people in the UK have a form of skin condition, ranging from mild and infrequent bouts of itching and sensitivity to chronic and painful eczema.
Those living with eczema, asthma or hay fever are classed as being atopic with an immune system that is overactive, with skin prone to inflammation. The condition can be managed as long as you avoid things that trigger it.
Itchy Skin Causes:
Typical causes of itchy skin include:
A skin condition, such as eczema
An allergy to a chemical, material or food
Hormonal changes in the body
If you are concerned about itchy skin you should visit your GP to rule out any underlying medical conditions such as those mentioned in the above list.
If you are continuing to experience prolonged itchy skin without an obvious cause, it may be a good opportunity to take a closer look at your diet.
As individuals, our reactions to foods and drinks we consume varies a great deal. An ingredient which may cause problems for one person could be completely acceptable for another. At YorkTest, we like to refer to this as our personal ‘food fingerprint’.
For those with persistent itchy skin, discovering and understanding your own personal food and drink intolerances and the effects they have on your health and wellbeing is important to ensure you make the best possible choices to optimise your diet and quality of life.
The University of York conducted a survey* to understand the benefits of elimination diets based on the results of a food intolerance test.
Out of 89 people who reported experiencing itchy skin, 87% reported an improvement having removed their ‘trigger’ foods. We define these as foods which show a positive IgG reaction to antibodies in the blood.
Overall in the study, 76% of people who rigorously followed the recommended diet reported a benefit, 68% of which experienced this after 3 weeks.
Main Condition Reported
% of people who reported a benefit
Low Energy e.g. Fatigue, Lethargy
Gastrointestinal e.g. IBS, Bloating etc
Respiratory e.g. Asthma, Sinusitis, Rhinitis
Neurological e.g. Migraine, Headaches, ME
Dermatological e.g. Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis
Musculoskeletal e.g. Arthritis, Joint Aches & Pains
Psychological e.g. Depression, Anxiety
Information provided above regarding Food Intolerance (defined by YorkTest as a food specific IgG reaction) is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. YorkTest do not claim to treat or cure the aforementioned symptoms and recommend that you discuss any medical concerns you have with a GP before undertaking a YorkTest programme.
*Survey carried out with a total of 5286 people who had taken the YorkTest – or to give it its scientific name - a food-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) blood test.