Eczema is a skin condition where the skin presents with the symptoms of itching, redness, inflammation, roughness or dryness, and pigmentation. The medical terminologies ‘Eczema’ and ‘Atopic Dermatitis’ are mentioned interchangeably often, as atopic dermatitis is known to be the most common form of eczema.
The word ‘Atopic’ stands for diseases related to the immune system having a genetic predisposition and ‘Dermatitis’ stands for skin inflammation. Atopy usually runs in a family and have a family history of diseases, such as urticaria, asthma, hay fever, food allergies, etc.
Causes Of Eczema:
- Genetic Factors: These make a person prone to suffer from eczema.
- Environmental Factors: These act as triggers and maintaining factors of eczema
- Exposure to irritants, such as soaps, detergents, cosmetics, etc.
- Exposure to the sunlight
Symptoms Of Eczema:
Some of the common symptoms of eczema are listed here.
- Dry scaly eruptions with redness and itching
- Dry or a rough skin
Areas commonly affected by eczema are mentioned below.
- In Infants – the face (cheeks, forehead, scalp, and trunk) and the outer surface of extremities.
- In Children – the wrist, ankles, and the folds of knees and elbows and the groins
- In Adults – Flexor areas of arms, legs, and neck, forearms, and legs.
4 Triggers Of Eczema That You Should Avoid:
1. Dry Skin:
Dry skin is one of the important cause of eczema. Skin can become dry due to the various factors listed below.
- An environment of low humidity
- Extreme air temperatures – Either too hot or too cold.
- Harsh Soaps
- Frequent washing of hands or body without applying enough moisturizer.
2. Stress :
Emotional stress, such as frustration, anger, irritability, etc. can increase the blood flow to the skin and thus triggers eczema, leading to itching.
Allergy to different substances often cause an allergic reaction and trigger eczema. Allergens can vary from person to person, but, for our understanding, we have grouped allergens into the following main groups.
- Air-Borne Allergens – Dust mites, pollen grains, animal dander, smoke, etc.
- Products, such as soaps, detergents, some cosmetics having strong fragrances, and additives.
- Food Allergens, such as milk, fish, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, etc.
It is important to note that above food allergens are commonly found to cause eczema, however, it may vary from person to person. So, it is advisable to avoid the foods which trigger your eczema. At the same time, make sure you include some other sources of food having the same nutritive value to prevent any compromise in nutrition.
4. Skin Infections:
Eczema can also be triggered by bacterial and viral skin infections. You can prevent skin infections from affecting you by following good hygiene, boosting your immunity, and having a healthy lifestyle.
As we know, eczema cannot be stopped or cured completely by any definite way, but we can reduce the frequency and intensity of eczema attacks, if we avoid above-listed triggers, and live a healthy life.
– Written by Dr. Pooja G., Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah