What Are the Most Common Triggers of Eczema?

Cause of Eczema breakouts

No one knows for sure what causes eczema. But if you are experiencing its symptoms, then you know how annoying and debilitating this skin condition can be.

In this article, we take a look at some of the most common triggers and causes of eczema, plus how you can help your body prepare to fight it.

Environment and Genetics Can Cause Eczema

Some researchers believe eczema can be a genetic problem. If you have experienced oily skin or diabetic skin conditions, or if your family has a history of skin health issues, you could be prone to it more than others.

Those who suffer from eczema experience painful, red and itchy skin. Sometimes, it shows up as red patches; other times, like a rash on the skin’s surface.

Be Aware of What Causes Your Eczema Breakouts

Some people with eczema may suffer from a lack of filaggrin. This is a bodily protein that helps guard the skin with a healthy protective layer. Those who do not have enough of this are prone to infections and dry skin problems.

If you know the triggers to watch out for, you can help yourself avoid scratchy patches and flare-ups.

Some common eczema irritants, which are common in many environments, include:

  • Fabrics or scented materials
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Nickel and other metals
  • Household detergents and body soaps
  • Isothiazolinones, an antibacterial property common in baby wipes
  • Paraphenylene-diamine, found in some hair and skin dyes

Other Common Causes of Eczema

Allergic Reactions

To guard yourself against eczema when you are most likely to experience a flare-up, you need to fix your skin’s barrier function. Even some antibiotics, common body lotions or ointments, may be causing your allergies and itchy skin.

Try to avoid harsh soaps and cleansers, minimize hot water or taking too many baths (which strips away the skin’s natural oils), or switch to a body soap that won’t affect your skin negatively.

Food Intolerance

Another common thread we see in those with eczema is that it is the body’s reaction to certain foods. This is what people talk about when they say that to heal your body, you must heal your gut. What you are putting into your gut shows up—whether in the form of health, glowing skin, or exactly the opposite.

A good way to balance your gut bacteria is to eat certain fermented foods, and avoid those which cause outbreaks. This may be different food groups for everyone, but common foods that may cause reactions are dairy, nut, gluten and soy products.

Dietary experts recommend taking supplements with vitamin D and zinc. These are known to modulate the immune system and boost the body's inflammatory response. A dietician can recommend the best meals that will help to support your body’s good gut bacteria, and help with anti-inflammation.

Stress as a Root Cause of Eczema

Stress does trigger flare-ups, and this is commonly seen in eczema patients. Abby Van Voorhees, MD, a professor of dermatology tells us, "Patients often note that as they get more tense their skin gets itchier. Then they start scratching and the cycle begins."

Some people are able to find quick relief with topical corticosteroids like Cortaid or Cortizone 10. If you do choose a topical ointment, consult your own dermatologist to find the best one.

Lasting Eczema Solutions at CDCRI in San Diego

If you suffer from skin conditions or symptoms of eczema, it helps to get support from those who can understand what is causing your body to react in this way. And, to find long-term cures.

At the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute, we are dedicated to finding advanced solutions to common skin conditions. We offer therapy for dermatology-specific diseases and ailments.

Visit our website for a personal consultation, and get treatment today for better skin and a healthier you, or give us a call at 760-203-3839.