Eczema, sometimes called atopic dermatitis, is a complex skin issue that causes inflammation on the skin’s surface. Experts determine eczema flare-ups to stem from a mix of genetics and encountering certain environmental triggers. While some people may experience a flare-up from one irritant, another group may react to a different trigger entirely.
Common Triggers for an Eczema Flare-up
Eczema conditions vary from patient to patient, but it’s wise to know the most common triggers to understand what could be causing your skin to react.
Dryness is a condition that causes your skin to become scaly, brittle, and rough. Dry skin can develop due to factors like:
- Arid or low-humidity environments
- Allergies to certain soaps or detergents
- Too much exposure to soaps or detergents
- Exposure to certain medications or medical treatments (i.e., cancer treatment or dialysis)
- Changes to the skin due to aging
When the skin is dry, it creates an environment for inflammation that can lead to an eczema flare-up. Pay attention to the skin’s moisture levels and make changes if certain factors are causing dryness. You can also begin a moisturizing routine in areas that seem dry or irritated.
Certain substances can cause skin irritation and lead to dryness, itchiness, redness, and burning sensations. These irritants can include:
- Certain foods
- Certain fragrances
- Hand soaps
- Household cleaners
- Shampoos and body washes
When irritants affect the condition of the skin, there is the opportunity for eczema to develop, causing the area to become inflamed.
There is not much known about stress-induced eczema. However, experts have documented instances where patients experiencing emotional stress will also see eczema flare-ups. Sometimes, a patient’s eczema worsens as their stress levels increase. For others, their eczema diagnosis alone causes stress and leads to an outbreak.
Changes in Climate Conditions
Some patients may develop inflamed skin when the weather starts heating up or when things begin cooling down. Certain people even develop eczema after moving to high-altitude locations.
What to Do About an Eczema Flare-Up
If you experience eczema flare-ups but don’t know why, pay attention to the substances you put on your skin, the materials you interact with, or the current weather conditions when inflammation occurs. By learning your eczema triggers, you can know how to work around them or at least understand what is causing eczema to arise.