What triggers eczema?

Eczema causes and treatment

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What is eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that causes scratchiness, irritation, redness, and roughness on patches of skin. The skin can break and form blisters. There are different types of eczema that affect over 30% of people in the USA.  Eczema is also commonly used to refer to atopic dermatitis, which is the most common kind of eczema. The term atopic refers to diseases that affect the body immune system such as hay fever, asthma, and atopic dermatitis. The term dermatitis, on the other hand, refers to inflammation of the skin.  Some individuals grow out of the condition, while others will continue to have it throughout the adult years.

Symptoms of eczema

The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can differ, depending on the age of the patient. Atopic dermatitis commonly occurs in babies, with dry and scaly patches appearing on the skin. These patches are often intensely scratchy. Many people get atopic dermatitis before the age of 5 years. For those who get eczema during childhood, half of them keep it through adulthood.  However, the symptoms in childhood eczema id different from eczema in adulthood. People with eczema will have good days where the condition reduces or even clears up and will also have the bad days where the symptoms flare up and intensify. 

Symptoms of eczema in children under 2 years

  • Rashes on the scalp and cheeks.
  • Rashes can cause severe irritation and continuous scratching. This affects their sleep.
  • Rashes bubble up and leak fluids.

Symptoms of eczema in children aged 2 years up until adolescence

  • Rashes behind the knees or elbow.
  • Rashes also appear on the neck, ankles, wrists, and the crease in between buttock and legs.
After some time, the following additional eczema symptoms may show
  • Rashes become rough.
  • Rashes can lighten or darken in color.
  • Rashes can thicken in a process referred to as lichenification. 

Symptoms of eczema in adults

  • Rashes increases of the knees and elbows or the neck and the face.
  • Rashes cover much of the body.
  • Rashes are very scratchy, more than in kids.
  • Rashes can cause very dry skin.
  • Rashes can lead to skin infections.

People who had atopic dermatitis as kids but don’t have it anymore may still have hand eczema, irritated skin, and eye problems.  The look of skin impacted by atopic dermatitis will depend on just how much a person scratches and whether the skin is infected. Scratching and rubbing only worsens the situation. 

Types of eczema

There are several types of eczema. Apart from atopic dermatitis, other types of eczema are:

Allergic contact dermatitis

This dermatitis involves coming in contact with an allergen that is seen as foreign by the immune system.

Dyshidrotic eczema

This is a type of eczema that causes irritation on the sole of the feet and palm of the hands. Blisters are part of this condition. 


This is characterized by the formation of scaly patches on the head, wrists, forearms, and lower legs. It is caused by things such as an insect bite or other localized itches.

Nummular eczema

This is characterized by the formation of circular patches of irritated skin. The skin becomes scaly, crusted, and itchy.

Seborrheic eczema

This is characterized by the formation of oily, scaly patches of the skin that is yellowish. It is common on the face and scalp.

Stasis dermatitis

This is characterized by irritation of the lower leg. It is generally connected to circulatory issues.

Eczema causes and triggers

What causes eczema?

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We do not understand what exactly causes eczema. Nevertheless, for many types of eczema, researchers say it involves a combination of genes and a trigger. People with eczema usually have an immune system that is over-reactive, and when it comes in contact with a trigger, it produces inflammation. This, therefore, leads to the red, scratchy and painful eczema symptoms.Research suggests that some people with eczema have filaggrin mutation. Filaggrin maintains a healthy protective barrier on the top layer of the skin. Without adequate filaggrin, moisture can escape, and germs, viruses and other things get in. This is why lots of people with eczema have very dry and infection-prone skin.

Eczema triggers

What triggers eczema?

Controlling your symptoms is important when coping with eczema. Symptoms of eczema can show up long after coming in contact with a trigger. For this reason, detecting the trigger can be a little difficult. It’s crucial to keep in mind that eczema impacts everyone differently and that one person’s triggers may not be the same as another’s. You might experience eczema signs at particular times of the year or on various areas on the body. Here are some eczema triggers that can set off or worsen the condition:

Dry skin can lead to eczema

Dry skin can easily end up being rough, tight, or scaly, which can lead to an eczema flare.

Irritants can lead to eczema

There are everyday items and even natural compounds that can cause your skin to burn and itch, or become dry and red.

Chemicals and eczema

Chemicals all around you can impact your eczema. These are the everyday compounds at home; the hand soap, hair shampoo, body wash, disinfectants, or laundry detergent. Even the juice from fresh fruit, vegetables, or meats, can aggravate your skin when you touch them. Some common eczema irritants are:

  • Metals, especially nickel
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fragrances
  • Soaps and household cleaners
  • Certain fabrics such as polyester and wool
  • Anti-bacterial ointments like bacitracin and neomycin
  • Formaldehyde (found in disinfectants), some vaccines, glues, and adhesives
  • Isothiazolinones found in baby wipes
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine found in shampoos and lotions
  • Paraphenylenediamine in temporary tattoos
Stress can trigger eczema

Emotional stress is believed to cause eczema. Some individuals’ eczema symptoms worsen when stressed out. The stress of having eczema itself can make the condition to worsen. 

Climate and sweating can trigger eczema

When people with eczema get too hot and sweat, they end up being scratchy and irritated. This can happen when you sleep with heavy clothing or when working out. In the cold weather, your skin can also get too dry which can lead to eczema flare. Other climatic conditions such as air that is too humid or too dry can trigger eczema. Taking hot showers for a long time is also a culprit. 

Infections and eczema

Your eczema can end up being contaminated with bacteria or infections in the surroundings. Staphylococcus aureus is a common one. The molluscum infection, fungus like ringworm, and herpes infection, are other common triggers for infection. It’s crucial to understand the symptoms of these various infections and what triggers them so that your eczema does not worsen.

Allergens can trigger eczema

Pollen can cause eczema or worsen it. Things that give you an allergic reaction can trigger an eczema flare. Some common allergens are seasonal pollen, dander from dogs or cats, dust mites, mold, and dandruff. It is important to figure out which allergens cause the flare so that you keep away from them. Some allergens are harder to pinpoint since the symptoms stick around longer. 

Hormones trigger eczema

Hormones are compounds produced by the body that can cause a wide range of symptoms. When the levels of certain hormones increase or reduction, some individuals with eczema might experience flare-ups. This is more common in women.

Eczema treatment

Can eczema be treated?

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There is no treatment for eczema. The solution is to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups. Medical professionals will suggest a treatment plan based on a person’s age, the symptoms experienced, and the health of the individual.  For some individuals, eczema goes away over time. For others, it remains for life.

Home care for eczema

How to soothe eczema at home

At home, there are many things you can do to reduce the effects of eczema and improve the health of your skin:

  • taking warm baths not hot
  • using mild soaps
  • applying moisturizer just after a bath to prevent moisture from escaping
  • moisturizing on a daily basis
  • avoiding rough fibers clothes that are tight and opting for cotton and other soft fabrics
  • avoid rubbing the skin dry, rather air drying or carefully patting skin with a towel
  • try to avoid activities that quickly increases your temperature and making you sweat
  • knowing your own unique eczema triggers
  • using a humidifier in winter or dry weather
  • cutting the fingernails to avoid breaking the skin when scratching

Medications for eczema 

There are a number of medications that physicians can recommend to treat the signs of eczema.

Topical corticosteroid ointments and creams for eczema

This anti-inflammatory medication can relieve the primary symptoms of eczema, such as skin itchiness and swelling. They are applied directly to the skin.

Systemic corticosteroids for eczema

If topical treatments are ineffective, systemic corticosteroids can be recommended. They can be taken orally or injected, and they are just used for brief time periods.

Prescription antibiotics for eczema

These are prescribed if eczema takes place alongside a bacterial skin infection.

Antiviral and antifungal medications for eczema

These can deal with fungal and viral infections that happen.

Antihistamines for eczema

These decrease the danger of nighttime scratching as they can trigger sleepiness.

Topical calcineurin inhibitors for eczema

This is a kind of drug that suppresses the activities of the immune system. It decreases swelling and helps avoid flare-ups.

Barrier repair moisturizers for eczema

These reduce water loss and work to fix the skin.

Phototherapy for eczema

This includes direct exposure to ultraviolet A or B waves. The skin will be carefully monitored. Phototherapy is usually used to treat moderate dermatitis.Although the condition itself is not yet treatable, there must be a specific treatment strategy to match everyone with different symptoms. Even after a location of skin has actually healed, it is important to keep looking after it, as it may quickly end up being inflamed again.

How to tighten skin?

To make our skin tighter, eat healthily, exfoliate your skin, limit UV exposure, and use

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