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A New Rash in Town

Recently I’ve been more lenient with my diet. I paid attention to what I was eating, just not to the extent I normally do. I just wanted to enjoy some time not thinking too much of it. Instead, I ate what tasted good and made sure I exercised daily. Well, that didn’t quite work out for me. I ended up getting two flare-ups, that’s right, two! One was on my scalp and the other on my hip bones and both completely different from each other!

A nightmare flare on my hips

The flare-up on my hip bones was the first to happen. I woke up one day and immediately my skin was burning! It wasn’t scaly or bumpy like my other rashes, instead, it felt like someone took a nail filer and scraped my bones with it! It was dry and rough, and the burning never stopped. It even got worse whenever I applied my medication. It was a nightmare, and at the time the best thing I could do was to wear loose clothing, like sweatpants or flowy skirts.

I had scalp eczema and didn’t even know it

My scalp flare came last, about a week or so after my first flare-up. One night I was just reading a book and subconsciously I started to scratch my head. It was itching like crazy. I went out to the kitchen to grab a snack, to which my mother passed by and said: “You have something in your hair.” I told her it was probably just dandruff and that I needed to shower in the morning. She took another look and said “No, it looks like skin. It actually looks like eczema.” Sure enough, she was right! I had scalp eczema. What was even more shocking to me, is that I’ve dealt with scalp eczema nearly all my life and I didn’t even realize it! I just thought itchy heads were normal. Little did I know I had eczema up there. My mom shared that I had it bad as an infant.

I was discouraged at first, how could I let myself be so lazy? How did I not expect this to happen? Well, sadly I couldn’t see it coming. Everything I was eating seemed fine until I looked closer into what I was eating.

What’s in your food?

For a couple of weeks, I had been eating pickles like crazy, I absolutely love pickles and I can’t say no to them. However, after a few days of eating them, I had my first flare-up! I didn’t think much of it at first, because why would they be a problem? None of my usual food trigger ingredients were listed and they’re just pickles. No harm, right? Well, after the second flare-up, I did a mental check of all of the food I had eaten during those few weeks and pickles were the newest part of my diet. So I decided to check the ingredients just in case there was something in it that I couldn’t have.

Food dye eczema triggers

After checking the jar, I found out they were made with yellow food dye. That’s right, food dye in pickles! Since childhood, I’ve only really noticed my allergic to red dye, but after my pickle incident, I realized that I probably shouldn’t have any dye at all. And let’s be honest, there shouldn’t be food dye in normal food like pickles.

Back on track

Luckily, I’ve been doing much better at sticking to my diet and both of my flare-ups have gone down significantly since this discovery. I’ve learned that I need to be a lot more careful of what I put into my body and that I can’t let a new flare-up get me down.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.