The Role of Diet Modification in Atopic Dermatitis: Navigating the Complexity

Andrea M. Rustad, Melissa A. Nickles, Sara N. Bilimoria, Peter A. Lio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Diet has long been understood to have an intricate association with atopic dermatitis, although much remains unelucidated. Skin barrier dysfunction with dysbiosis and consequent impairment of immune tolerance likely underly the pathogenesis of coincident atopic dermatitis and food allergy. There is a wide range of possible skin reactions to food, complicating the diagnosis and understanding of food allergies. Many patients, parents, and providers incorrectly suspect diet as causative of atopic dermatitis symptoms and many have tried elimination diets. This frequently leads to inaccurate labeling of food allergies, contributing to a dangerous spiral of inappropriate testing, referrals, and dietary changes, while neglecting established atopic dermatitis treatment essentials. Alternatively, certain dietary supplements or the introduction of certain foods may be beneficial for atopic dermatitis management or prevention. Greater consensus on the role of diet among providers of patients with atopic dermatitis is strongly encouraged to improve the management of atopic dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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