The symptoms of eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, are intense itching and a dry, red, scaly rash. Eczema may lead to blisters and oozing lesions. Dry, itchy skin, caused by many factors, leaves it without protection and makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to penetrate.

Eczema generally has periods of flare-up and times when there are no symptoms at all. Although it can sometimes look unpleasant, eczema is not contagious.

Eczema often runs in families, and sufferers often also have a personal or family history of other allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever. Although it can occur at any age, it’s most common in infants, completely clearing in half of all cases by 18 months of age.


  • Dry, extremely itchy skin
  • Blisters with oozing and crusting 
  • Redness of the skin around the blisters
  • Raw areas of the skin from scratching which may lead to bleeding
  • Dry, leathery areas with more or less pigment than their normal skin tone

Eczema in children under 2 years old generally begins on the cheeks, elbows, or knees. In adults, it tends to be located on the inside surfaces of the knees and elbows.

Contributory factors

Allergy or intolerance: for some people, food allergies may bring on or worsen eczema. In others, reactions to inhaled allergens such as dust mites, pollen, moulds and animal dander may also trigger the condition.

If you feel that your symptoms may be linked to a food allergy or intolerance, a food allergy blood test can provide insight.

You can choose from an Inhalant Allergen Blood Test or a more comprehensive screening.

Smart Nutrition also offer consultations which can identify aggravating factors in your diet that, once removed, lead to symptoms clearing up. Please use the button at the bottom of the page to find out more. 

Essential fatty acid deficiencies: studies suggest that some people with eczema may be lacking in certain essential fatty acids because they are unable to properly metabolise them.

These deficiencies can quite easily be corrected with the help of Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapy. An Essential Fatty Acid Blood Test can tell you whether this is a contributing factor in your condition. 

Nutritional deficiencies:  deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals are known to be factors in the severity of eczema symptoms.

NutrEval gives a comprehensive overview of your overall nutrient status and can be used to target key problem areas that may be exacerbating the condition.

Stress: stress doesn’t actually cause eczema, but it can certainly trigger a flare-up or make the condition worse. Feelings like anger and frustration can also aggravate eczema.

Since emotional stress can aggravate eczema, an Adrenal Stress Test is recommended to determine whether imbalances in stress hormones could be playing a role in your condition.

Smart Nutrition can also write you a special diet, supplement and lifestyle protocol to help you to deal with your stress and reduce the amount and severity of your eczema flare-ups.

Leaky gut: leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability, allows larger particles than the gut can easily deal with – such as undigested or partially digested foods and bacteria – to enter into the bloodstream. A normal, healthy gut lining allows certain molecules to pass across into the bloodstream such as vitamins, minerals and digested foods, and acts as a barrier to prevent entry of larger damaging molecules. A damaged intestinal lining opens up slightly, and the immune system then reacts to the molecules it allows to pass into the bloodstream, all of which can greatly exacerbate eczema.

A Leaky Gut Test is a quick and easy way to find out whether this syndrome is a factor in your symptoms. Then, with the help of Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists, you can heal the gut lining and get on the road to recovery. 

Early weaning: weaning babies too early onto foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs can cause damage to the immature gut. This can lead to the development of leaky gut and the possibility of allergies, both of which are implicated in eczema.

Useful Links

Please do not return samples to the laboratories that may arrive after Wednesday 27th March and up to and including Monday 2nd April.

The laboratories are closed from the 28th March – 2nd April for the Easter Holiday.