Eczema can significantly impact a person’s quality of life due to the persistent itching and discomfort. Managing eczema involves identifying and avoiding triggers.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common and chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation, dryness, itching, and the development of red, scaly rashes on the skin. Eczema can vary in severity, from mild, occasional flare-ups to severe and persistent symptoms. It is often associated with an overactive immune response and a compromised skin barrier (outer skin layer).


Characteristics Of Eczema


  • Itching: Itchy skin is a hallmark symptom of eczema, and the urge to scratch can be intense. However, scratching can further irritate the skin and lead to complications.
  • Rashes: Eczema typically presents as red or brownish-grey patches or plaques of inflamed skin. These rashes can be dry, scaly, and sometimes oozing or crusting in more severe cases.
  • Location: The location of eczema rashes can vary depending on age. In infants, it often appears on the face and scalp. In older children and adults, it commonly affects the backs of the knees, the insides of the elbows, hands, and feet, but it can occur anywhere on the body.
  • Chronic Nature: Eczema is a chronic condition, which means that it can persist for a long time, often throughout a person’s life. It tends to follow a relapsing and remitting course, with periods of flare-ups and times when the skin is calmer.
  • Triggers: Eczema symptoms can be triggered by a variety of factors, including irritants, allergens, stress, changes in weather, certain foods, and hormonal fluctuations.

Ten Common Eczema Triggers


  • Dry Skin: Dry skin is a common trigger for eczema. When the skin’s natural barrier is compromised, it becomes more susceptible to irritants and allergens.
  • Allergens: Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold can trigger eczema flare-ups in some individuals.
  • Irritants: Contact with irritants like harsh soaps, detergents, fragrances, and certain fabrics (e.g., wool) can worsen eczema symptoms.
  • Hot and Cold Weather: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can dry out the skin and trigger flare-ups. Additionally, sweating in hot weather can worsen symptoms.
  • Stress: Emotional stress and anxiety can contribute to eczema flare-ups. Stress may weaken the immune system and lead to skin inflammation.
  • Diet: Certain foods, such as dairy products, eggs, nuts, and wheat, may trigger eczema symptoms in some individuals, although food triggers can vary widely from person to person.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menstruation, can influence eczema symptoms.
  • Microbial Infections: Bacterial and viral infections can exacerbate eczema symptoms. Scratching itchy skin can create openings for bacteria to enter and cause infection.
  • Contact Dermatitis: Some individuals with eczema may also experience contact dermatitis, a localized skin reaction to specific substances like perfumes, cosmetics, or latex.
  • Frequent Bathing: Excessive bathing or hot water can strip the skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

Eczema Treatment Options


  • Topical treatments: These may include moisturizers, corticosteroid creams or ointments, and other prescription medications to reduce inflammation and relieve itching.
  • Avoiding triggers: Identifying and avoiding specific triggers that worsen eczema symptoms.
  • Proper skin care: Using gentle cleansers and moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated and maintaining good skincare habits.
  • Prescribed treatments: In some cases, medications may be recommended for more severe or persistent eczema.

Eczema can significantly impact a person’s quality of life due to persistent itching and discomfort. Managing eczema involves identifying and avoiding triggers whenever possible, maintaining proper skincare, and using prescribed medications or topical treatments as recommended by the dermatologist.


CONSULTANT - DERMATOLOGY at Dr.Kamakshi Memorial Hospitals
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