What are the causes of eczema?
Although doctors and experts have yet to come to an agreement on what causes eczema, they are getting closer. Genetics, the immune system, and the skin’s protective barrier have been at the top of eczema cause discussions.
The Australian Eczema Society has done research that suggests a defective skin barrier is the primary cause of eczema. Eczema patients usually suffer from a reduced skin barrier.
Many experts link an abnormal immune system to eczema. An overreaction in the immune system occurs, causing cells to release chemicals under the skin’s surface that can lead to inflammation.
In 2006 scientists from the University of Dundee working in coordination with experts in Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, and Seattle, discovered a gene they link to causing dry skin and a predisposition to developing eczema. Later, a 2009 study done at the University of Edinburgh concluded that defects in the Filaggrin Gene are linked to a heightened risk of developing eczema, allergic disorders, rhinitis and asthma.
Chemicals and irritants: the hidden causes of eczema flare-ups
Harsh soaps and cleansers contain chemicals that dry and damage skin. These chemicals diminish the skin barrier and irritate skin, causing an inflammatory response that triggers eczema flare-ups. Knowing what irritates your skin and limiting exposure to those damaging irritants is key in preventing eczema flare-ups. Products containing artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates, petroleum, and alcohol should all be avoided. Dermatologists often recommend that patients experiencing eczema on their hands should wear gloves for protection against irritants. Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion™ offers protection against irritants by working with the skin to strengthen its natural barrier.
Tips to reduce eczema triggers and eliminate flare-ups
- Identify what is irritating your skin. This may require you to see a doctor or allergist and limit exposure.
- Use a Shielding Lotion™ to keep dry skin hydrated and prevent chemicals and irritants from damaging skin.
- Avoid soaps and other skin care products that contain harsh artificial ingredients. Opt for a natural product that won’t irritate or dry the skin.
- Limit exposure to water. Keep showers to a minimum and avoid frequent hand washing. Remember to always use luke warm water instead of hot.
- Use a natural laundry detergent and select clothes made out of non-irritating fabrics.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients.
- Avoid direct sunlight when possible as it can aggravate eczema symptoms.