Three food diary apps to help detect your eczema triggers

foodDo you wonder whether certain kinds of foods cause your skin to flare up?

When I did my skin prick test for food last year at National Skin Centre, the skin specialist mentioned that it’s not exhaustive because they only have samples for up to 30 common food specimens. Typically we end up eating a lot more food or the ingredients in the meal which are not extracted in specimens in the skin prick test. The other consideration for the test would also be the cost. One food itself cost $10. So for example, if you decide to test for prawns, oyster, clam, cow’s milk, you have to pay $40 for the 4 food specimen pricks. And if a reaction is observed, it means you are allergic to that food. Intolerance or irritation to skin will not be conclusive.

Thus, I still think that it’s worth while for me track my food diary – to spend the time and effort to record every single item that i put into my mouth for a month and observe the reaction to my rashes flareup. With the help of mobile apps, I decided to search for a free app which can help me in my food log.

When I searched for key words “food diary”, “food journal”, many diet and calorie counter type of app appeared. These didn’t meet my requirement. I needed a simple app that I can enter the list of food or take pictures of the meal and upload for reference. Spent some time going through the list to find free ones. Tried 3 of these apps :

  1. My Eating Journal : It’s simple – Provides the date, allows me to enter what I ate for breakfast/lunch/snack/dessert/dinner or upload a picture. Downside of this app is that I couldn’t send the log to my email. I could also not see it in any summarize way and had to select the dates to view day by day.
  2. See How You Eat (SHYE): This is a more pro-picture/photo way of logging the meals you eat. It also allows you to write a note so that’s a good flexibility in case you forgot to take a photo. Easy to swipe right or left to change the dates. Can email or print the food journal but you can only do it one day at a time. Extra feature of reminder when it comes to meal time. 
  3. Diet Tracker : You can enter the meal details or upload photos. The main screen shows you a summary of your entries for a few days. You can also share or export the log in a date range and in several different formats ie. html or excel. 

Enjoy your own meal tracking, do remember to list down every single food you put into your mouth. The key is to be detailed and try to aim to be as detail as possible for a shorter period of time(ie. 7-10 days) which is more sustainable, then analyze.


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