There are several different forms of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. Atopic eczema is the most common type and while the cause tends to be unknown, it often runs in families and occurs in people who suffer with allergies such as asthma and hayfever. Food allergies (to foods like cows milk, eggs, peanuts, soya or wheat) may also be a trigger, especially in young children, but you should always speak to your GP before cutting out major groups of food and be referred to a registered dietitian, to help ensure your diet remains balanced. Although some studies have shown that eating fish during pregnancy and having it during early childhood may help reduce the risk of developing eczema, the evidence is inconsistent. Nevertheless, experts agree that eating two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily, is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.

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