Triggers That Cause Eczema Outbreaks
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a skin problem that causes skin irritation and inflammation. The condition can be mild or more severe, depending on the immune system of the patient. There are a lot of triggers that cause eczema outbreaks including stress, food, chemicals, materials and smoke or pollens knowing these may help, so as to be able to prevent future eczema outbreaks.
Trigger : Exposure To Allergens Or Irritants
Hand eczema is often caused or worsened by exposure to a substance thats irritating think alcohol, bleach, cleansers or solvents or one that causes an allergic reaction, such as perfume or certain plants. Florists often get dermatitis on their thumb and forefinger when clipping chrysanthemums and tulips . In the kitchen, vegetables particularly garlic and onion can lead to a flare-up, especially on the fingertips. Even fabric can exacerbate hand eczema. Rough, coarse materials such as wool and stiff synthetics such as polyester can trigger an itch-scratch cycle that worsens the condition.
How to dodge it: Pay attention to what sets off your eczema. Whether youre at home or on the job, learn what irritates your skin and avoid or limit contact with those things, advised Dr. OBrien. Use a washing machine, dishwasher, and food processor when possible and ask other family members for help with housework, cooking and gardening to give your hands a break. Protect your hands from irritants and allergens by wearing vinyl or cotton gloves while you do chores. Wear heavy-duty vinyl or neoprene gloves at work if youre exposed to triggers there. If the gloves you have irritate your skin, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
Reasons Hand Eczema Flares Up
Hand eczema flare-ups are beyond annoying. It can cause redness, itching, cracks, blisters, and dryness to the point of peeling and flaking, but thats not all. During a bad flare-up of hand eczema, fingers can swell and hands can hurt. Without proper treatment, hand eczema can become chronic. A severe case could even make it hard to button your clothes or use a computer.
So, what causes flares? Here are five of the most common triggers and tips for avoiding them.
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Stress And Immunity: General Background
Centrally, the HPA axis responds to psychological stress with upregulation of CRH, adrenocorticotropic hormone , neuropeptides , and glucocorticoids , as well as activation of the sympathetic and brainstem serotonergic nervous systems . Subsequently, increased levels of GCs and catecholamines suppress antigen-presenting cell production of interleukin -12, the principal cytokine inducer of T helper 1 -mediated humoral immune responses via induction of interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha . Thus, GCs inhibit the production of IL-12, IFN-, IFN-, and TNF- in both antigen-presenting cells and Th1 cells, and upregulate cytokines involved in T helper 2 -mediated antibody production responses, such as IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 . Dendritic cells are specialized antigen-presenting cells of the skin and mucosal surfaces. These cells are thought to have an important role in the generation and regulation of immune responses, and likely represent the link between antigen uptake and clinical features of inflammatory skin diseases, such as AD .
How Is Eczema Treated
If you’re diagnosed with eczema, your doctor might:
- prescribe medicines to put on the skin that soothe the redness and irritation, such as creams or ointments that contain corticosteroids
- recommend other medicines to take by mouth if the eczema is really bad or you get it a lot
If someone has severe eczema, ultraviolet light therapy can help clear up the condition. Newer medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts also may help.
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Can Adults Develop Chronic Eczema
Yes, you can be diagnosed with eczema as an adult. There are even cases of people over the age of 60 who develop it, even if theyve never had symptoms before.
As an adult, going through your daily life with eczema can be challenging. Flares are different for everyone but typically are itchy, uncomfortable and can even be painful. Rubbing and scratching your itchy skin results in an itch-scratch cycle that can lead to lesions and thickened, leathery skin.
Adults with eczema may struggle with self-confidence issues due to feeling embarrassed about their skin appearance. You may also experience interruptions with your regular activities, such as sleeping or working. The effects of this chronic skin condition can cause excess stress and irritability.
What Can You Do To Eliminate Stress
Its all very well telling you that stress is bad, not only for your skin, but your entire body as a whole, but eliminating stress is a lot easier said than done. There could be multiple factors affecting your stress levels financial issues, sleep deprivation, illness, or relationship worries and none of them are going to disappear overnight. But, there are things you can do to help ease stress and help your skin:
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Eczema Treatments And Covid
When taking systemic medication, it is advised that you avoid live vaccines. None of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States contain a live virus. Therefore, if you are taking a treatment that affects the immune system, it is advised that you can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Even though it is considered safe to have the COVID-19 vaccine, clinicians advise they still do not know whether being on an immunosuppressant or biologic treatment will reduce the vaccine’s effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in this area.
If you take immunosuppressants, systemic, or biologic medication for your eczema and are concerned about whether you are more at risk from COVID-19, then speak to your healthcare professional for support and advice.
Some clinicians advocate taking extra safety precautions to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 if you are on multiple medications or have additional underlying health conditions.
Eczema And Other Mental Health Issues
In a 2016 survey by the National Eczema Association, about one-half of the respondents said they were bothered by poor sleep and symptoms of mental health issues like depression and anxiety caused by eczema. The skin condition also affected their ability to effectively engage in self-improvement activities.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
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The Importance Of Sleep When You Have Eczema
Easier said than done, right? People living with eczema know how difficult it is to sleep when your skin is itchy and uncomfortable. If eczema is keeping you or your child awake at night, talk with your doctor about how to get a better handle on your symptoms. Taking an antihistamine before bed can help you become drowsy. Enjoying warm, relaxing baths or showers and lathering on the moisturizer before bed can induce sleepiness and stave off itch. It also helps to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary by keeping the room dark, cool and clean, and limiting the use of electronics an hour or two before bedtime.
Learn To Manage Your Stress
Two of the most common triggers of eczema are emotional stress and anxiety. This response is due to your bodys fight-or-flight response that increases the production of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline.
When your body has too much cortisol, it can affect your immune system and lead to skin inflammation. Finding ways to manage your stress and reduce your anxiety by avoiding certain situations or practicing stress management techniques, you can significantly reduce your eczema flare-ups.
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What Are The Causes And How To Make Eczema Go Away
People with eczema often experience flare-ups which may be aggravated by changing weather or emotional stress. Other eczema causes vary depending on the type of eczema but are often related to allergies. For instance, people with atopic dermatitis may be more likely to develop hay fever or asthma.
Eczema triggers include irritants such as soap, perfumes, dust mites, animal hair and certain fabrics, such as wool and synthetics. Hormonal changes, skin infections and food allergies are further possible causes.
Contact dermatitis may be caused by acids and alkalis, fabric softeners, hair dyes, cement, adhesives,
harsh detergents, and certain metals. While there is no cure for eczema, it is possible to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups.
Treatment options include ointments and moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated and reduce itching and cracking. Use cooler water for bathing and gently dab the skin dry with a towel rather than rubbing avoid tight clothing.
What foods to avoid if you have eczema?
Eczema causes may be aggravated by food allergies. As a general rule, eczema sufferers should avoid foods containing preservatives and artificial ingredients. You should also try and cut out foods containing trans fats such as margarine, processed food, and fast food.
Is eczema a sign of a weak immune system?
Does drinking water help eczema?
Triggers That Can Cause An Eczema Flare
Dr. Shreya Andric is a dermatologist based in Sydney. She is passionate about skin health and her mission is to educate the public on how to care for their skin, and also clear up the vast amount of misinformation out there on this topic.
While Dr. Andric has independently chosen the products that appear in this article, she does not receive revenue from the links. Some of the links may return revenue to Yahoo Lifestyle Australia.
Atopic dermatitis , also called atopic eczema, is the most common inflammatory skin disease worldwide.
It affects up to 15% of people at any point in their life. It usually affects people who have an atopic tendency, that is those who have a background of hayfever, asthma and food allergies or a family history of the same. It affects all age groups and all races.
AD usually starts in infancy, affecting up to one in five children. Although it can settle in late childhood and adolescence, it is still found in 5-15% of young adults up to 26 years of age.
Its a complex condition and a number of factors seem to be important for its development, including genetics as well as environmental factors. A tendency to atopic conditions tends to run in families.
Eczema can affect any part of the skin, including the face. The most frequently affected sites on the body include the creases of the elbow and knee joints, as well as the wrists and the neck.
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Can Ad Be Prevented
There is no clear proven way to prevent eczema. There are many theories out there, including that exclusive breast-feeding can prevent eczema in susceptible infants, however, there is no evidence supporting this. If your child has a tendency to eczema, it is good to get into a routine from birth whereby you use a soap-free wash and apply a moisturiser daily.
Stress Habitual Scratching And The Itch
Stress does not cause eczema. However, some people react to stress by habit scratching. It is thought that scratching can make itch worse, which makes you want to scratch more. This is called the itch-scratch cycle and can make eczema worse. Try as much as possible not to scratch the eczema. To help with this, keep fingernails cut short so that any scratching is not so sharp and severe. Consider wearing cotton gloves at night if you tend to scratch in your sleep, and use anti-scratch mittens for babies. If you need to relieve an itch, rub with fingers rather than scratch with nails.
Some people find that relaxation exercises or similar techniques help to reduce stress. This may help to reduce habit scratching, which may help to reduce the severity of eczema.
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Emotions And Childhood Eczema
Eczema has an impact on the emotional health of children, as well as on their parents and family members. Physically, any eczema breakout can result in extreme discomfort and can sometimes be very painful.
Those with moderate to severe eczema report that the disease dramatically disturbs sleep, activities . Common emotional symptoms of eczema in children, caregivers, and family members include:
- Psychosocial stress
- Sleep disturbances
- Anxiety and stress
- Social isolation
The overall emotional impact of eczema can be a lifetime of challenges in maintaining a sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
Eczema is known to cause several emotional symptoms, including:
- Poor self-esteem
- Loss of sleep
- Anxiety and stress
According to a survey by the National Eczema Association, over 30% of those with atopic dermatitis were diagnosed with either depression, anxiety, or both conditions. The reason for this phenomenon is not fully understood, but medical experts believe there could be a link between the way the body communicates with the brain during an inflammatory response.
Tips For Preventing An Eczema Flare
Eczema is a general term that refers to several health conditions that lead to irritated, inflamed, and itchy skin. While eczema is most common in children and babies, anyone can develop this condition, even if youve never had signs of it in the past.
The most common symptoms of eczema include:
- Intense itching
- Redness, inflammation, and areas of swelling
- Leathery, roughened, or scaly patches
- Discolored or dark patches of skin
Eczema symptoms can vary in severity from mild to severe, and its possible to experience multiple symptoms at once. Some individuals have a single flare-up, while others struggle with uncomfortable symptoms throughout their entire lives.
Theres no cure for this common condition, but Dr. Lisa Hitchins at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston offers personalized eczema treatment. This October, in honor of Eczema Awareness Month, Dr. Hitchins shares five tips for avoiding eczema flare-ups.
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Is It More Than Stress
Stress is usually the result of external factors like work, school, relationships, or life events. Anxiety is more persistent than stress and can be harder to manage without medication or professional therapy.
The bad news? Eczema can be tough to deal with. The good news? There are lots of effective ways to prevent future flare-ups.
The Link Between Stress Eczema And Pregnancy
If you suffer eczema and are pregnant, then you need to be even more aware of the effects that stress and eczema could have on your baby.
Eczema is extremely common in children.
Because a babys skin is so hypersensitive to all of the triggers around it, causing it to react with eczema symptoms. However many children tend to grow out of this before they reach adulthood.
How is this connected to the actual pregnancy?
This means that, if you are pregnant, feeling stressed will not only trigger your own eczema to flare up, but will also increase the likelihood that your child will experience eczema flare-ups too.
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The Impact Stress Has On Your Eczema & How To Ease This Eczema Trigger
Eczema is a complex skin condition and its often difficult to identify the underlying cause. However, one trigger that seems to persistently recur is stress, with many sufferers recognising emotional stress as a major instigator. Today, I explore this connection and discuss how stress can affect your eczema symptoms, as well as what you can do to minimise its impact!
Psychological Therapy For Eczema
A relatively new type of therapy for people with skin conditionssuch as eczemais called psychodermatology. The therapy focuses on the psychological issues involved in skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
The professionals who are trained in psychodermatology specialize in addressing issues such as social anxiety and depression .
This field of psychology is said to be well-established in Europe but is slow to becoming a mainstream therapy in the U.S. There are only a few psychodermatology clinics around the country. You can find a limited list of therapists who specialize in this type of therapy at the Association for Psychoneurocutaneous Medicine of North America site.
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Managing Eczema And Stress
“One of the biggest barriers in managing stress and eczema is to be able to clearly recognize what the stressor is,” states Dr. Levenberg. “A specific stressor is often challenging to identify or even change, and so a more general approach to stress reduction may be more helpful. Seek interventions that are known to lower stress and increase relaxation, such as modifying lifestyle factors, managing emotions, getting adequate rest/sleep, eating a healthy diet, and regular exercise, to name a few. Even one night of sleep loss can increase inflammation.
“It is also essential to have a support group or friends and family for positive social relationships,” says Dr. Levenberg. According to studies, positive social interaction can play just as an important role as diet and exercise when it comes to health. In the current pandemic, it may be harder to achieve social support. However, it is essential to still ensure people stay in touch with their friends and family network in a safe, socially distanced, or virtual manner. Research shows that being socially isolated can increase the risk of inflammation to the same extent as being physically inactive in the adolescent years.
1. Eczema Symptoms & Causes | National Eczema Association. National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/. Published 2020. Accessed November 9, 2020.
2. Bieber T. Atopic Dermatitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008 358:1483-1494. doi:10.1056/nejmra074081