Common Eczema Triggers

Approximately 1 in 10 -- or 31.6 million Americans -- will develop eczema at some point in their lives. This uncomfortable skin condition can affect anyone regardless of age or ethnicity, but it often begins before age five and can become a life-long problem. It's also common for eczema symptoms to flare up periodically and disappear even for years at a time.

Signs of eczema can vary but often include:

The exact cause of eczema isn’t known. However, we often see it in people with an overactive immune system and those lacking a protective barrier of moisture on their skin. As experts dedicated to treating the disruptive symptoms seen with conditions, our Advanced Allergy & Asthma recommends watching out for these common eczema triggers to keep your symptoms at bay.

Allergies

If you have eczema, allergies are probably the last thing on your mind. But the two are intimately related, and some of the most common eczema triggers include food and environmental allergies. Similarly, if you have allergies, you’re more likely to have eczema symptoms. 

Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis, and “atopic” means allergy. When you have an allergy, specific substances activate your immune system, causing an inflammatory response that can include rashes and skin irritation. Allergies can also worsen existing eczema symptoms. Allergens that can trigger eczema symptoms vary from sugar, gluten, and refined carbohydrates to pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mites.

Irritants

Even without being allergic, coming in contact with certain substances can trigger eczema symptoms. Common irritants include:

It’s even possible to develop eczema symptoms because of heavy sweating.

Hot and cold weather

Whether you love cold weather or baking in the hot sun, each of these extremes can cause intense eczema flare-ups. Cold weather often comes with dryer air, which can lead to more itching, scratching, and inflammation, but hot weather can lead to heavy sweat and intense irritation. 

To protect your skin in all temperatures, apply a gentle moisturizer at least twice a day, monitor humidity levels in your home, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid excessive sweating.

Dry skin

Dry skin is the enemy when it comes to eczema. That’s because, without proper moisture, your skin's outermost layer can become brittle and damaged, leaving you more sensitive to allergens, irritants, and other eczema triggers. Plus, when this protective layer becomes damaged, it becomes harder to retain water, leading to chronic itchy, dry skin that worsens your symptoms.

Stress, anxiety, and depression

It may be surprising to hear that your mental health plays a significant role in eczema, so you have to take care of yourself on the inside, too. 

While emotional stress or anxiety itself won’t cause eczema, they can play a significant role in your symptoms and trigger flare-ups. Studies also show that people with eczema have higher rates of anxiety or depression. To effectively manage your eczema symptoms, it’s essential to share information about your mental and emotional health with your provider because these conditions are often related.

If you have allergies, eczema, or other skin symptoms, our team can help identify your triggers and control your flare-ups. Contact one of our locations in Ogden, Utah, to schedule a consultation today.

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