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Sulphites a trigger for eczema

A sensitivity to sulphites can be a major trigger of eczema, asthma and a host of respiratory-type illnesses. This allergy to preservatives is more common than we think. Whether ingested through food or medicines or applied to skin in a personal care product, sulphites can be an ingredient of ‘concern’ for adults and children alike.

Their function is to kill bacteria, yeasts and moulds in food and drinks, and to prevent ‘browning’. Their main use is in wine and alcoholic drinks, fruit including dried fruit (may be sprayed to prevent deterioration), salads, fruit juices, prepared potato products (eg frozen chips) and shellfish.

Sulphites are a group of chemical additives in the range 220–228, 150b and 150d and may be included in foods such as:

Bakery goods, soup mixes, jams, canned vegetables, pickled foods and vinegar, gravies, dried fruit, potato crisps, beer, wine and cider, vegetable juices, sparkling grape juice, bottled lemon juice and lime juice, tea, many condiments (bottled sauces etc), molasses, fresh or frozen prawns, maraschino cherries, dehydrated, pre-cut or peeled potatoes.

If you think sulphites might be triggering eczema, eliminating them from the diet is a positive first step. Sulphites are also included in many foods to avoid with asthma. Read more.

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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.

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