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5 Common Eczema Triggers

Eczema can be a significant burden for those affected. First, it’s a very visible skin condition, and second, it’s itchy and sometimes painful. The most effective therapy is a fast treatment that gets you feeling better quickly. 

The dermatology specialists at Jordan Valley Dermatology know how to treat this problematic skin condition quickly and effectively. Dermatologist Douglass Forsha, MD, and his compassionate team specialize in treating eczema to relieve itching and irritation.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a collective term for inflammation of the skin, which can have different causes and can look different for everyone. Most forms, however, are accompanied by redness, itching, and small bumps that are not contagious. According to the National Eczema Association, there are seven types of eczema that can be clearly distinguished:

Eczema can occur in more than one type simultaneously. Various types of eczema have different triggers and treatment requirements, so it's imperative to seek healthcare providers like Dr. Forsha with unique expertise in treating eczema. Dr. Forsha can help identify which type or types of eczema you have and what to do about flare-ups.

Topical creams that are over-the-counter (OTC) may help with mild to moderate eczema. It may be necessary to restrict exposure to certain triggers if you suffer from severe eczema.

Here are five common eczema triggers and how to avoid them if you're not sure what's causing your outbreaks.

Five common causes and triggers of eczema

If you aren’t sure why eczema is occurring, these common causes and triggers can help you and our team of specialists figure it out.

1. Allergens

There are certain substances that may cause eczema depending on the type. Whenever you come into contact with a specific substance, it triggers contact eczema. Nickel or latex, for example, can trigger an allergic reaction in the skin. 

2. Skin type

Another cause of eczema is an over or underproduction of sebum (oil) in the skin. As a result, the natural skin barrier is compromised and becomes more vulnerable to inflammation. If you notice that your skin is extremely dry or exceptionally oily, your skin type might be causing eczema.

3. Genetics

In hereditary atopic eczema, the skin is usually very dry and tends to form flakes. In addition, the skin becomes hypersensitive. Atopic is a term associated with allergies, but atopic dermatitis doesn’t always occur because of an allergic reaction. 

It’s not uncommon for patients with atopic dermatitis to develop asthma or hay fever (allergic rhinitis) later in life, and about one in three have food allergies as well. Those affected are usually allergic to pollen, house dust, or other environmental influences that irritate the skin and trigger a flare-up. 

4. Stress

Stress reduction may help keep your eczema at bay. The symptoms of eczema are not caused by emotional stress, but stress can exacerbate those symptoms. Your body releases cortisol during times of stress. In large amounts, cortisol stimulates inflammation in every part of the body in response to chronic and ongoing stress. A flare-up of eczema can occur as a result. 

Getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and breathing deeply are crucial for coping with stressful situations. 

5. Sweating

Your eczema symptoms might worsen if you sweat heavily. When you have flare-ups after exercising, reduce the intensity of your workout or work out when the temperature is cooler. Try exercising early in the morning before the heat of the day arrives, or keep a fan nearby.

Limit sweating by staying as cool as possible. Keeping hydrated is also vital to prevent overheating. 

Prevent eczema flare-ups

Often, you can't predict when eczema is going to flare, so prevention isn't always possible. Fortunately, you can take steps to keep your skin healthy and reduce flare-ups. Eczema symptoms such as dryness, irritation, and flaking can be managed by:

Dr. Forsha and his staff can recommend low-irritant skincare products, such as moisturizers and soaps that are gentle on your skin. Identifying your triggers can also be helpful if you are not sure what triggers your eczema flare-ups. 

Book an appointment with Jordan Valley Dermatology Center or call our office today if you need expert eczema treatment for yourself or your child. We also now accept Telehealth appointments so you can schedule a virtual visit.

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