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What Causes Eczema?

What Causes Eczema? Hayfever, changes in temperature, dust and chemicals are just a few elements that can trigger an eczema flare-up, leaving the skin feeling uncomfortable, dry and flaky. It might seem like life has endless pitfalls where sensitive skin is concerned but the good news is that becoming more familiar with common causes of eczema means you may be able to put some preventative steps in place. Here’s how to spot the signs of eczema-prone skin, find out what’s causing it and get your symptoms under control.

What causes adult eczema?


The skin comes into contact with all sorts of chemicals throughout the day as we use products such as shower gels, hand washes, shampoo and even surface cleaners and washing detergents. To prevent eczema from flaring up swap out heavily fragranced products for more simple emollient formulations, and wear rubber gloves when washing up or handling other cleaning products. This will help you to identify any irritating chemicals within your daily routine.

Dry skin

If the skin becomes too dry, scaly and rough, and the skin barrier is damaged, there is more chance of a flare up that may become painful and even infected. That’s why it’s key to keep eczema-prone skin fully hydrated all the time with emollients and moisturisers. Apply a rich moisturising cream, suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin throughout the day, as many times as necessary. A thermal spring water spray can also help to soothe itching and soreness in between applications of cream.

Allergic eczema    

Other big eczema triggers include pollen, dust mites, and pet hair, which can all irritate the skin. Antihistamines can help to dull the reaction but it’s most effective to make some simple changes in the home. When the pollen count is high, ensure you change your clothes once you come indoors and take a shower. This will help to eliminate any pollen stuck to your hair and clothes. Wash bed sheets regularly at a high temperature to get rid of dust mites and protect the bed with an anti-allergy mattress cover and sheet. Vacuum regularly and remove any unnecessary clutter such as soft toys. If the family cat or dog is causing a reaction, make sure that the door to your bedroom is always closed and discourage pets from sitting on sofas and soft furnishings.

Changes in temperature

A common cause of eczema can be extremely hot and cold temperatures, leaving the skin feeling very sensitive. If your face reacts after a hot shower, try keeping face cloths, soaked in chamomile, in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. Press onto skin after a shower to help to reduce the temperature and any inflammation. If it’s hot outside consider carrying a mini can of thermal spring water spray with you to cool skin down when you’re on the go. If harsh colder weather proves problematic, make sure you protect the skin with a rich moisturiser that will keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

Eczema caused by stress    

Many people find that stress is a common trigger for their eczema, but experts aren’t entirely sure why. While the cause may be a bit of a mystery, there are some simple steps you can adopt to help reduce stress levels in the body and help to keep your skin calm. For example, regular exercise can help keep stress and anxiety at bay, as well as releasing feel-good endorphins into the body. You may also find that regular meditation or relaxation practises such as yoga help to relieve tension. If you need a bit of assistance, try downloading an app onto your smart phone or tablet for step-by-step guidance.


This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before altering your diet or starting any new course of conduct.




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