A woman sits at a restaurant table holding a fork and knife, and very anxious about the bowl of spaghetti and meatballs in front of her. The meatballs have angry and maniacal faces.

Tips for Eating Out with Eczema

Having a night out with your family and/or friends should be a fun, stress-free time to enjoy yourself and relax. It is a time to unwind while you dine and chill in delightful company with delightful food. But, when you or someone you care for has atopic dermatitis, it can also be stressful on your (or their) skin.

The struggles of eating out with eczema

Without careful, intentional decision making a fun, light-hearted night out could turn into an uncomfortable aggravated morning. But with wise, purposeful planning a night out can be every bit as enjoyable as it should be. Following a few simple steps can help lead you in the right direction toward an AD inflammation-free evening of delightful dining.

Know your triggers

Knowledge is power and AD is an individualized condition. While there are definite similarities and commonalities in foods that typically contribute to or worsen flare-ups, every person with atopic dermatitis is different. So know your needs (or the needs of the person for whom you are caring). Know exactly what triggers you and why. Also, know your limits. Sometimes, your body can tolerate some foods in moderation or at a bare minimum.

Scope out the restaurant and menu

Make an informed decision about your eatery. Do your due diligence. With the internet and smartphones/tablets, restaurant options and menus are just a click away. Take your time to explore your options and all the ingredients in your meal. Easy internet access also gives us easy access to contact information for restaurants. An informed decision is only one call away!

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Advocating for yourself or your atopic dermatitis patient is all about communication. Communicate your questions and do not be afraid to ask more than one. Be specific and intentional with your questions. Do not accept vague or nonspecific answers. Even if it means you need to talk to the chef himself. Get your money's worth while maintaining your best skin health.

Pay attention to details

Sometimes, it's the little things. The most seemingly minute details can sometimes be crucial. And when it comes to your skin and your health (or the health of the person you are caring for), there is no detail too small or nonessential. Sometimes, it's not the meal itself but rather what the food is cooked in or near that causes a flare. Sometimes, its the sauces, dips, even the spices that your skin is reacting to. Do not let any detail go unnoticed.

Menu modification

If your heart's desires and your skin's needs do not match up, split the difference. Find menu options that work for you or the person you are caring for and modify as needed. Do not be afraid to switch it up, add, subtract, or change to your heart and skin's needs. Be your own advocate and do or say whatever needs to be done so that both your AD and your tummy are pacified and satisfied.

Enjoy itch-free eating

Enjoy your meal and know that your skin and body thank you. Most often skin healthy foods are also body friendly skin. Health is from the outside in. So enjoy and appreciate your best efforts to be your healthiest you.

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