Causes of Eczema
Knowing the causes of eczema will help you avoid specific triggers in the form of food or maybe some lifestyle habits. To provide you with clearer insights, this article will focus on eczema experienced by both babies and adults. It will also discuss the possible causes and the best treatments to effectively manage the symptoms.
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You likely have eczema when your skin experiences itching, scaling, and inflammation. Although this is common and untreatable, some people experience more symptoms than others. Fortunately, there are medicines available to reduce these symptoms.
What Causes Eczema in Babies?
Infants and adults alike are not exempt from having eczema. However, this condition is more common in kids below the age of 5 since children’s skin is more sensitive than adults’. Eczema appears as rough and scaly features on the skin.
It is dubbed as a long-term skin condition since babies who have it will likely carry it through adolescence. Relevant data shows that at least 1 in 10 babies experiences atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema.
Some researchers say that this is rooted in genetics and certain environmental factors. The causes of eczema in babies may also be immune-system dysfunction and specific food allergies.
The following are the most common triggers of eczema in babies:
- Contact with irritating chemicals, such as bubble baths and shampoo;
- Contact with fabrics that might irritate, like coarse-fibred wool;
- Overheating with clothing;
- Contact with fragrances, especially synthetic and unscented types;
- Certain food intolerances;
- Disinfectants such as chlorine that can dry out and irritate the skin; and
- Sweat containing salts and chemicals that heighten irritation.
Symptoms of Eczema in Babies
Some of the most common symptoms babies show when they have eczema are the following:
- Itchy, red patches appear on some skin parts, such as the forehead, hands, and feet.
- The baby experiences unusual sweating.
- The skin shows unusual dryness.
- The skin thickens, along with redness and swelling.
- The skin around the mouth, eyes, and ears shows certain changes.
In addition, babies experience total discomfort due to itchiness. As parents, you must keep your baby’s overall health in check. Contact your doctor for professional advice when you suspect that your baby has eczema.
Treatment of Eczema in Babies
When not treated immediately, eczema in babies may lead to hay fever, asthma, and food allergies. This can also cause interference in their growth. The first thing you need to do when your child has eczema is to consult a general practitioner.
Consultation is critical when the symptoms do not go away after a few days. There are also cases when medical solutions are ineffective, and you will need to see a dermatologist or allergy specialist.
And as mentioned above, although it is incurable, some effective ointments and creams can help prevent and treat skin flare-ups. Just make sure that you ask the right questions regarding these eczema treatments before applying them.
To ensure that you will not further complicate the symptoms, ask a pharmacist or other medical practitioner for advice about the right medicines.
Causes of Eczema in Adults
Although eczema typically appears anywhere on the skin, it is commonly seen in the hands, elbows, neck, ankles, feet, and around the eyes. One of the causes of eczema in adults is when you’ve been diagnosed with hay fever. Like children, a possible cause of eczema is an overactive immune system.
In addition, when you have a family history of asthma and food allergies and are sensitive to other environmental allergies, you’re more likely to get this skin condition. Researchers found that individuals lacking filaggrin (filament aggregating protein that helps the skin stay moisturised) are likely to develop eczema. Mental, emotional, and physical stress can also contribute to eczema, depending on one’s stress level.
Symptoms often include skin bumps and red patches on white skin and purple or brownish-grey on brown skin. When you have eczema, leathery patches and thickness are also noticeable on your skin. Lastly, the most common symptom is itchiness.
Triggers of Eczema Flare-Ups in Adults
It is essential to know the possible triggers of your skin inflammation and redness to avoid worsening your skin flare-ups. Skin itchiness and the discomfort associated with eczema are mostly triggered by the following:
- Cleansers and detergents mainly due to higher pH levels (acidity);
- Perfumes, which contain several synthetic chemical compounds;
- Cigarettes, which contain chemicals that irritate the skin;
- Extreme temperature changes that often lead to excessive sweating, with toxins and salts building up around the follicles and irritating the skin;
- Stress-inducing factors that spike up stress hormones and produce high cortisol, leading to oily skin and eventually, an eczema outbreak; and
- Lastly, rough and scratchy materials (e.g., wool and sandpaper) and allergens such as pollen, mould, or dust. Upon contact or penetration, these can highly contribute to skin irritation and flare-ups, too.
Avoid these triggers, especially when you already have eczema.
Treating Eczema in Adults
Remember that scratching your skin may worsen itchiness and lead to complicated skin irritations. In worst cases, it will result in painful blisters and wounds.
It is crucial that you keep your skin moisturised when you have a mild case of eczema. Also, consult your healthcare provider for advice. They can recommend possible supplements to help lessen the skin flare-ups and itchiness.
One of the most common therapies that can help alleviate the symptoms of eczema is light therapy. This involves exposing affected skin areas to the sun. It is effective only for adults since children’s skin is more vulnerable. However, long-term sunlight exposure can also lead to possible skin complications for adults.
This is why consulting a medical practitioner is advised. Your healthcare provider will help you administer light therapy correctly.
The right eczema treatments will vary for each individual since others have mild symptoms while others experience severe ones. Other factors such as family medical history, age, and allergies will also dictate the type of treatments suitable for you. There are times that adults will use mixed remedies to relieve itching and reduce flare-ups.
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