What causes eczema? July 26, 2023 09:37
Let's look into eczema.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation, redness, itching, and sometimes, the formation of blisters. While the exact cause of eczema is not fully understood, it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. Some of the key factors that contribute to the development of eczema include:
- Genetics: Eczema tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition. If one or both parents have eczema, there is an increased likelihood that their children may develop it as well.
- Immune system dysfunction: People with eczema have an overactive immune response to certain triggers, leading to inflammation and skin irritation. The immune system's overreaction can cause the skin to become more sensitive and prone to eczema flare-ups.
- Skin barrier dysfunction: The skin acts as a barrier to protect the body from external irritants and allergens. In eczema patients, the skin barrier is impaired, allowing irritants, microbes, and allergens to penetrate the skin more easily, triggering an immune response and inflammation.
- Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental triggers can exacerbate eczema symptoms. Common triggers include dry air, cold weather, harsh chemicals in soaps or detergents, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold.
- Allergens: Certain allergens, such as food allergens (e.g., dairy, eggs, nuts) and airborne allergens (e.g., pollen, pet dander), can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms in some individuals.
- Irritants: Substances that can irritate the skin, such as certain fabrics, soaps, perfumes, and cleaning products, may contribute to eczema flare-ups.
- Stress: Emotional stress can exacerbate eczema symptoms in some individuals, likely due to its impact on the immune system and inflammation.
- Microbial factors: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections on the skin can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms in some cases.
It's important to note that eczema triggers and causes can vary from person to person. Identifying and avoiding specific triggers, along with proper skincare and medical management, can help manage and reduce eczema symptoms effectively. If you or someone you know is experiencing eczema, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment options.