The Sugar And Eczema Link

Is There A Sugar And Eczema Correlation?

The simple answer is yes. However, we need to dig a little deeper because not all sugars will cause an outbreak of Eczema. The sugar and eczema link is a little more complicated than to chastise sugar across the board!

Sugar and Eczema Link

What Is Sugar?

Sugar, in essence, is simply a carbohydrate. There are many different types of sugars that have different effects when it comes to causing an outbreak of eczema. Generally speaking, free sugars are the main culprit.

Free sugars are simple sugars, They are added into the food supply by food manufacturers and sometimes consumers when cooking or baking. Free sugars are also naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.

The Links Between The Consumption of Sugar And Eczema

The over use and abundance of free sugars across the average western diet is a major culprit for preventable health issues and diseases. It has, if you will, become a destructive force in human health and skin related issues.

5 reasons why sugar and eczema are linked:

  • Sleep
  • Candida
  • Glycation
  • Inflammation (By Fructose)
  • Addiction
Sleep & Sugar links

Sleep, Sugar And Eczema…

There is a sedative effect on the body after we eat a meal high in free sugars. It is commonly known as, ‘food coma’.

It takes about 4hrs for the body to use up a high concentrate of sugar supply. After this period we experience a sugar ‘crash’. This can cause a whole list of symptoms including; headaches, irritability and hunger.

In the crash state, cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands which leads to a quickening of the heart rate and a worsened quality of sleep. If a high sugar content meal is eaten just hours prior to sleep, then there will be consequences for the body as a whole.

Through the night, the body expends enormous amounts of energy in its attempt to balance its blood sugar levels, and even more so after eating a sugar laden meal.

Due to these high levels of energy being diverted away from the body as a whole, the rest of the body is disadvantaged and deprived of the energy it needs for general repair in other areas, such as; internal organs, eczema, rashes and lesions.

Tissue recovery is at its highest when we are in deep sleep. When we are deprived of this nightly self repair process and tune-up, conditions such as eczema just don’t have a chance to heal. Sugars and a poor quality of self repair are not healthy for the skin!


Candida overgrowth and eczema symptoms are slowly becoming better understood. Sugars can wreak havoc on our gastrointestinal (GI) tracts and potentially lead to worsened case of eczema.

Sugar & Eczema Including Candida

Candida is a much needed yeast that lives in harmony with billions of other micro-organisms in our gut. There is literally a full and stable ecosystem going on inside of our bodies that will feed off the sugars we eat.

Unfortunately, with an oversupply of sugars in our foods, and given the right environment, candida can become virulent in the gut. This often leads to the destruction of healthy gut flora.

This oversupply of sugars has further consequences and can dominate the GI tract. It can lead to what is commonly referred to as ‘leaky gut’. Candida, as well as many other unwanted particles, are then able to enter the blood stream.

It can lead to a breakdown in the bodies immune system resulting in a person not being able to fend off basic illnesses or common skin conditions such as eczema.

How to identify a potential candida overload in your system:

  • Occurrences of thrush in the mouth or genitals
  • Persistent urinary tract infections
  • Fungal infections in the nails / athletes foot
  • Lethargy and chronic fatigue
  • Digestive issues such as constipation, gas and bloating, issues to foods you used to tolerate
Glycation products & Eczema


Glycation is the term that describes the process following an insulin level rise that typically occurs after consuming a sugary meal. If the sugar consumed is not burnt as energy soon after consumption, then it is destined to be stored as fat. As a side effect, the bodies insulin production will go into overdrive.

This is detrimental to certain components that promote healthy skin including, but not limited to, collagen and elastin. These two constituents are responsible for bodies ability to repair and heal the skin. These elements are also responsible for holding back the aging process and wrinkles.

The process of Glycation:

  • Sugar intake
  • Insulin spike
  • Glucose binds to protein molecules resulting in anomalistic chemicals called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
  • AGEs then build up in the body
  • The healing function of the skin reduces leading to weak and dry skin

Glycation, in essence, is a huge factor in rapid aging and bad skin conditions. It can also lead to the skin drying and cracking which allows microbes to enter into and under the skin. This can lead skin sensitivity and bad cases of acne and eczema.

Fructose Caused Inflammation

Fructose is a problem. It is a type of sugar that has become the most prevalent as the main source of sugar in our food supply. Unfortunately, it is the worst type of sugar for anyone suffering from eczema.

As a rough guide, fructose is found highest in:

  • Syrups and sweeteners such as agave and honey and anything containing high-fructose corn syrup
  • Soda drinks
  • Candy
  • Apple sauce
  • Dried or canned fruits
  • Sauces or condiments
  • Salad dressings
  • Fruit juices
  • Energy and cereal bars
  • Certain cereals

A pro-inflammatory response to fructose consumption can be induced by the body after uric acid and free radicals are formed when the liver breaks down and metabolises this fructose sugar type. It can have a seriously damaging effect on the bodies cells.

This negative reaction to fructose consumption can be responsible for a whole list of health issues, not just those concerning eczema.

Addiction To Sugar

Addiction To Sugar

When we over indulge in a sugar consumption, our brains appear wired to make us feel good. This is due to the fact that our brains see sugar as an excellent source of energy.

It sends out dopamines and endorphins that are responsible for the feeling of reward, pleasure, euphoria, which, by default, encourages us to consume higher levels of sugar.

If we do not break the cycle of excessive sugar consumption we will never break the continual release of dopamine running through our bodies. This leads to a higher level of sugar craving because our brain tells us that sugar is the source of great reward.

Excessive sugar consumption can also lead to the breakdown in the part of the brain that tells us when we are full. Essentially, the alerts that normally go out to tell us to stop eating, don’t.

So… How Much Is Too Much?

The UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends the intake of free sugars to be not more than 5% of an individuals daily energy intake. This translates to a sugar intake of approximately 30 grams for the average adult.

Kitchen Weighing Scales

Unfortunately, these days, the average adult is consuming in excess of 153 grams of free sugars per day. That equates to 5 times higher than that recommended by health officials.

As a rule of thumb and rough reference guide, just one of the following items contains the daily recommended sugar allowance of 30 grams.

  • 20oz bottle of Vitamin Water
  • A can of Red Bull
  • A bowl of Raisin Bran or Nutrigrain
  • Medium slice of sponge cake
  • Yoplait original yogurt
  • Dried cranberries – 1/3 cup
  • Starbucks Greek Yogurt and Honey Parfait
  • Naked Pomegranate Blueberry Juice
  • Starbucks Blueberry Muffin
  • 1 ½ cups of orange juice
  • 100ml of Tomato Sauce

The Reality Of The Sugar And Eczema Link…

It might sound cliché but it is a saying that stands the test of time and keeps most of us in good stead, ‘all things in moderation’. If you keep as close to the daily recommended allowance for sugar as you possibly can, then you won’t go far wrong in terms of your health.

The main thing is, be aware. For the sake of your eczema, or the eczema you are yet to get, cutting down on your sugar intake is an extremely healthy thing to do.

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