What Causes Eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While the exact cause of eczema is still unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research has shown that eczema tends to run in families,in fact, up to 70% of people with eczema have a family member who also has the condition. Environmental factors can also play a role in the development of eczema. Eczema is also believed to be related to an overactive immune system. In people with eczema, the immune system responds abnormally to certain triggers, leading to inflammation and other symptoms..
Is Eczema an Allergy?
No, eczema or atopic dermatitis and allergy are not the same.
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. It is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as a weakened skin barrier and an overactive immune system. Eczema can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stress, certain foods, irritants, and allergens. Allergies, on the other hand, are a reaction of the immune system to a specific substance called an allergen. This can cause a range of symptoms, including itching, swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms might be confusing, thus it is highly recommended to get an allergy test to identify the skin condition.
The top 3 causes of Atopic Dermatitis
Research has shown that people with a family history of eczema are more likely to develop the condition themselves. Certain genes can make people more susceptible to developing eczema by affecting the skin's ability to retain moisture and protect against irritants.
Environmental triggers can cause flare-ups or worsen existing symptoms. Common triggers include exposure to allergens like dust mites pollen, changes in temperature or humidity, exposure to irritants and stress.
Immune System Dysfunction
People with eczema have an overactive immune system that responds to triggers in the environment by producing inflammation in the skin. This inflammation leads to redness, itchiness, and dryness.
What are the symptoms of Eczema?
The most visible and common symptoms of atopic dermatitis
One of the most common symptoms of atopic dermatitis is intense itching, which can be severe enough to interfere with daily activities and sleep
Eczema causes a red, scaly rash that may appear on different parts of the body, such as the face, neck, hands, feet, or inside the elbows or knees.
People with eczema have very dry skin that is prone to cracking and flaking which is caused to lack of moisture and a poor skin barrier.
Inflammation is a hallmark feature of atopic dermatitis and can cause swelling, redness, and tenderness in affected areas.
Understand the Triggers & Aggravators
Exposure to irritants such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, and disinfectants can trigger eczema symptoms. These products can disrupt the skin barrier
Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold can trigger eczema symptoms in some people. When the immune system overreacts to these allergens, it can cause inflammation in the skin.
Stress is a common trigger for eczema flare-ups. When you're stressed, your body releases hormones that can cause inflammation and weaken the immune system.
Changes in temperature and humidity levels can trigger eczema symptoms. Cold, dry air in the winter can dry out the skin and cause flare-ups, while hot, humid weather in the summer can cause sweating and itching.
Certain foods can trigger eczema symptoms in some people. Common culprits include dairy products, eggs, nuts, soy products, and wheat.
Rough or scratchy fabrics such as wool or polyester can irritate the skin and trigger eczema symptoms. Tight-fitting clothing can also cause sweating and itching.