What Causes Dyshidrotic Eczema
This is still a bit of a mystery. In studying this disease, researchers have learned that it is NOT caused by a problem with a persons sweat ducts, as previously thought.
It appears that people who get dyshidrotic eczema have a hypersensitivity to something. The list of things that can cause this hypersensitivity include:
Metal, especially nickel or cobalt
An ingredient in a personal care product
Medication, especially aspirin or birth control pills
An infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin
A skin infection, such as athletes foot
When you come into contact with something that causes a hypersensitivity, its thought that this triggers the dyshidrotic eczema. For example, if you have a hypersensitivity to an ingredient in your soap, dyshidrotic eczema may flare up every time you use that soap.
Some people find that when they avoid what causes this hypersensitivity, they avoid flare-ups. For example, if you have dyshidrotic eczema on your hands and you are hypersensitive to the fungus that causes athletes foot, getting rid of the athletes foot may get rid of the dyshidrotic eczema on your hands. You may never get another flare-up of dyshidrotic eczema unless you develop athletes foot again.
The 6 Most Common Triggers For Eczema:
1. Dry skin When your skin is dry, it can cause eczema symptoms such as brittle, rough or scaly skin. Some people have a genetic condition associated with a skin protein called filaggrin that causes their skin to lose moisture and allow allergens and bacteria to enter the skin more easily. The best way to prevent an eczema flare is to keep your skin well moisturized. Recent research suggests that moisturizing a babys skin from birth may help prevent eczema from developing.
2. Food allergies Food allergens can play a role in the onset of eczema symptoms, particularly for infants and young children. Its believed the breakdown of the skin barrier contributes to an allergic response when a food allergen is consumed. Among children under the age of 2, eczema is most often related to milk or egg allergy but it can occur with any food.
3. Environmental allergies People with eczema may experience symptoms after exposure to certain grass, tree or ragweed pollen and/or indoor or outdoor mold. Pet dander and dust mites may also trigger symptoms. Since these allergens are often difficult to avoid, the most important treatment is aggressive moisturizing, along with antihistamines and topical skin corticosteroids, if necessary. Skin testing will help identify specific allergies so you can avoid the allergens. Some patients do well with allergen immunotherapy .
How Long Will An Eczema Flare Up Last
The duration of an flare up may depend on what type of eczema you have, and how severe the flare up is. With proper treatment, flare ups can last between one to three weeks.
In some instances, eczema can go into remission with the help of a preventative treatment plan. With eczema, remission means that your symptoms are not there. These periods of remission can last for weeks or even years, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Probiotics can be a part of such a treatment plan. Research shows that a patented blend of probiotics, featuring the strains Bifidobacterium lactis CECT 8145 , Bifidobacterium longum CECT 7347 , and Lactobacillus casei CECT 9104 , can reduce the symptoms of eczema in 12 weeks. ProZema Probiotic contains these three probiotic strains, and is a natural, adjunctive therapy for eczema and atopic dermatitis. Read more about ProZema Probiotic here.
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The Importance Of Eczema Symptom Prevention
In addition to treating eczema, preventing flare-ups is crucial. Prevention tips from the Mayo Clinic include:
- Choose mild cleansers and creams without dyes or fragrances.
- Manage your stress and anxiety.
- Shower in warm not hot water.
- Use a moisturizer all over your skin twice daily, especially after showering.
- Wear gloves to wash dishes.
- Wear soft gloves at night to avoid scratching.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
And, yes, identifying and avoiding your personal eczema trigger, or triggers, is an important part of your overall eczema treatment plan.
Here, discover which triggers may lead to an eczema flare-up, so you can better understand if one may be your personal trigger.
Rinse Off Immediately After You Go Swimming
Chemicals found in chlorinated pools and salt found in the ocean could be a problem for those with sensitive skin. Just in case theres no shower in sight, bring along a spray bottle filled with water and use it to rinse off immediately afterward, according to the National Eczema Association. Follow up by reapplying moisturizer and sunscreen to protect the skin and keep it from drying out.
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Combat Your Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety will put your skin in a tailspin. Stress is something everyone experiences, so learn how to handle your stress in the best way possible. When youre stressed, your body releases chemicals that can cause your skin to be agitated. Find ways to reduce this by exercising, writing, meditating, or even hosting a simple get-together to vent with friends.
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General Tips For Coping With Eczema
Other tips to manage your eczema include:
- Keep your fingernails short longer nails are more likely to injure your skin when you scratch.
- If the water in your area is hard or alkaline, consider installing a water-softening device.
- Swim in the sea in warm weather whenever you can seawater is known to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
- Use sun exposure for limited periods for example, when swimming at the beach. This can help relieve eczema symptoms. But be aware that ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. Also, if sun exposure causes overheating, this can also aggravate eczema.
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Can Diet Triggers Cause Eczema In Adults
As with children, food does not cause eczema in adults, but food allergies can trigger eczema symptom flares.
Research shows that cutting out specific foods from a personâs diet does not reduce atopic dermatitis symptoms unless that person has a known allergy to that food.
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Allergic Eczema On The Face Or Neck
Contact eczema is caused by an allergy. It occurs when your skin has an allergic reaction after coming into contact with a specific product. You may have been exposed to this product several times in the past without having a reaction. Indeed, one characteristic of contact eczema is that the allergy can appear suddenly.
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Environmental Factors And The Hygiene Hypothesis
Eczema is much more common amongst residents in developed countries. Its even more common in urban settings versus rural communities. From these trends, scientists evaluated many environmental factors that could cause eczema.
In the late 20th century, Strachan and Cook introduced the Hygiene Hypothesis. They said large families and increased exposure to early life infections could lead to a lower risk of allergy diseases. Research studies later supported this concept. Children who attended daycare centers or had more siblings or a dog were less likely to develop eczema.
So, one cause of eczema could be that we arent exposed to enough bacteria and infections when were young. Therefore, our immune systems dont have a chance to strengthen.
Moisturize Your Skin Regularly
Because constant scratching tends to break down and damage the protective layer of your skin, its important to moisturize twice daily even when youre not having a flare-up.
Talk to your dermatologist about the best type of over-the-counter emollient for your skin. Be sure to select unscented options.
Other skin care tips:
- Ask your doctor which skin cleansers are best.
- Keep your skin as clean as possible to avoid Staph infection.
- Avoid taking bubble baths or using scented bath salts.
- When you do bathe, use lukewarm water.
- Moisturize within 3 minutes of exiting the bathtub or shower.
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What Causes Eczema In Babies
Parents often wonder if there are specific causes that trigger eczema in babies. These rashes can change in appearance and location. Usually, eczema in infants develops on the face, cheeks, chin, and scalp. It does not appear in the diaper area where the skin is moist.Eczema starts to develop in babies between 6-12 months old on the elbow and knees. These places can be easily scratched and rubbed when babies crawl. These rashes may also become infected and form a yellowish crust or small bumps filled with pus.
In addition to the risk factors that trigger flare-ups mentioned in the previous section, babies have additional risks in their environment. Since they play with stuffed animals, plastic toys and games, and use bottles, these could all be risks. Babies arent always able to communicate when something in their environment bothers them. They also cant express themselves when theyre stressed. So, its important to pay attention to their behavior constantly.
Furthermore, the immune system, endocrine, and nervous system are still developing. So, infants and babies are more vulnerable to chemicals.
For this reason, try to avoid exposure to unnecessary chemicals if you have an infant. For example, replace flame retardants found in bedding, car seats, and baby products with 100% cotton or wool products.
Can I Outgrow Eczema
Even when your skin is clear, inflammation is still active under the skin and you may go into remission. About half of those who are diagnosed with eczema before the age of 2 develop immunity against substances that cause allergic reactions and their eczema symptoms resolve. Others go into remission by the age of 12. Still, many continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
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Avoid Rapid Temperature Changes
When the skin is experiencing big changes in temperature, it starts to dry and feel itchy.
In winter, our skin keeps jumping back and forth between temperature extremes. This cycle of moving from the cold air outside to the warm and dry air indoors can make the skin dry and cracked.
People can reduce eczema flare-ups by avoiding abrupt changes in temperature. Wear gloves, scarves, and hats when outside to stop the skin from getting cold.
Transition slowly between temperatures by using the following strategies:
- Try not to let your skin get cold. People can maintain a more even body temperature by staying inside when possible. Wrap up well when going outside.
- Protect sensitive areas from rapid temperature changes. If you tend to get eczema on your hands, wear gloves every time you go outside.
- Avoid hot water when you are cold. When you come in from the cold, it may be tempting to wash your hands in very warm water, but the quick change in temperature can irritate the skin. Wait until you have warmed up before using warm water.
- Avoid hot showers. After a hot shower, the body cools down quickly again. You can avoid changing the skins temperature too often by not having hot showers when you bathe every day, and always moisturize right after washing.
Find An Eczema Support Group
Even though eczema is a common disease affecting more than 31 million Americans, many people say they are too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. Oftentimes, they report covering up their skin and thus go through life not knowing if the person standing in line next to them also has eczema. Its human nature to want to talk with others who have the same problem and know what youre going through. The National Eczema Association can help. Connect with us on and to discuss the latest news and research with others in the eczema community. Join Eczema Wise, an online support group where people living with or affected by eczema can post discussion topics, exchange ideas and make new friends.
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Prevent Flares Feel Better
Many things could set off an eczema flare. You may not have the same triggers as someone else. It pays to figure out what causes your skin to react.
Dry skin. If your skin gets too dry, it can become rough and itchy. It might even crack. That can let bacteria or allergens inside. Dry skin is a common eczema trigger for many people. Extreme changes in temperature can stress your skin, too.
Tips: Keep your skin moist — especially in winter, when the air can be very dry. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your bedroom when you sleep. Apply body lotion after you get out of a shower or bath. Soak in a warm bath with small amounts of bath oil, or add colloidal oatmeal to ease eczema itching and moisten your skin. See what’s the best lotion for eczema.
Irritants. Products you use every day may bother your skin. Soap, cleansers, body wash, laundry detergent, lotions, or even some foods you touch can trigger eczema rashes.
Tips: Talk to your doctor to pinpoint what may irritate your skin. They can test how your skin reacts to certain products. Keep track of anything you use that seems to trigger a flare after you touch it. Choose soaps, cleansers, and laundry detergents without added perfumes or dyes. These are common eczema triggers.
Clothing. Fabrics that are rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Clothes that are too warm or heavy can make you sweat and cause a flare, too.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
- What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
- Do I need to take any other medicines?
- What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
- Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
- My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
- How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
- I have eczema. Will my children have it?
- How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
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What Causes Eczema Flare
Eczema flare-ups occur when the immune system is overloaded and unable to fight off the things that trigger inflammation for an individual and results in the red, itchy, and dry skin.
A number of factors can contribute to an eczema flare-up, from environmental factors, to internal stresses and reactions.
Can Atopic Eczema Be Cured
No, it cannot be cured, but there are many ways of controlling it. As they get older, most children with atopic eczema will see their AE improve with 60% clear by their teens. However, many of these people continue to have dry skin and so need to continue to avoid irritants such as soaps, detergents and bubble baths.
AE may be troublesome for people in certain jobs that involve contact with irritant materials, such as catering, hairdressing, cleaning or healthcare work. In later life, AE can present as hand dermatitis and as result exposure to irritants and allergens must be avoided both in the home and at work.
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Eczema Coping Tips Good Hygiene
Skin affected by eczema is more vulnerable to a range of infections, including impetigo, cold sores and warts. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus may cause a secondary infection of impetigo, and possibly contribute to the symptoms of eczema.Suggestions for washing include:
- Take lukewarm baths or showers, and avoid really hot showers.
- Dont use ordinary soap, as the ingredients may aggravate your eczema. Wash your body with warm water alone. For armpits and groin, use soap-free products, such as sorbolene cream.
- Bath oils can help to moisturise your skin while bathing.
- When towelling dry, pat rather than rub your skin.
Find Whats Right For You
Remember that just as there is no one moisturizer or cleanser that is right for everybody with eczema, there is no single laundry regimen that works for everybody. Be willing to experiment and keep track of what you do, so when you find a regimen that works for you and your family you can replicate it.
Jennifer Roberge is a mother of two children, one of whom suffers from severe eczema. She blogs about her familys journey with eczema, allergies and asthma at Its An Itchy Little World.
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What To Do When Your Eczema Flares Up
As you now know, there can be many different factors that influence your atopic dermatitis breakout. Pay attention to the patterns of your flare-ups to find the triggers that are relevant to you and take the steps you have control over to mitigate those contributing factors. The most important thing to do when you have an eczema flare-up is to consult a professional. Make an appointment with a dermatologist today to start down the road towards healthier skin!
Aspire Dermatology is equipped to treat a broad range of dermatological conditions. We hold our team of doctors and board certified experts to the exceptionally high standards, meaning that the care youll receive in our stylish office setting will be of the highest caliber.
How To Prevent Eczema Flare
The best way to prevent eczema flare-ups is to become familiar with your personal triggers so you can avoid any products, foods, or conditions that may cause eczema symptoms to flare up.
Some general tips include using mild, unscented soaps and developing a consistent bathing and moisturizing schedule.
Use moisturizers that work for you, especially on eczema-prone skin and areas of the body. For best results for long-term eczema, be sure to always use medications as prescribed.
When the weather changes and the air becomes more dry and cold, it can also be helpful to wear gloves to keep skin moisturized and prevent flare-ups.
Another good way to combat eczema flare-ups is to address stress, which is a common trigger.
Some wellness practices and systems, including yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation, have been shown to help manage emotional stress, as well as the nervous system in general.
Acupressure and massage can also help relieve symptoms and keep the general nervous system in check and inflammation at bay.
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