More than 31 million Americans suffer from eczema, also known as dermatitis. There are several distinct types of this inflammatory skin condition, all of which cause bothersome problems like itchiness, rashes, blisters, scaly patches, and an increased risk of infection.
Most people who have eczema use the term “flare-up” or something similar to describe their condition when symptoms appear. Their skin can be normal, and then seemingly out of nowhere, they begin having acute skin symptoms that may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
These flare-ups are usually caused by some type of trigger that causes your skin to react. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common eczema triggers that Dr. Joseph Iwanicki and our expert team see frequently here at kalon Dermatology in Brooklyn, New York.
When your skin becomes too dry, it can cause eczema symptoms, such as rough, scaly, or brittle skin. More than half of people with eczema even have a genetic condition called filaggrin that causes their skin to lose moisture. The best way to combat flare-ups due to dry skin? Keep your skin properly moisturized every day, without fail.
Stress and anxiety don’t cause eczema directly, but they can prompt symptom flare-up. When you’re under stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that, at higher levels, can trigger an inflammatory response in your skin tissues. If you often feel stressed or worried, talk with Dr. Iwanicki about finding effective ways to cope.
Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but changes in the weather — especially in periods of seasonal change — are prime times for eczema flare-ups. The best way to manage seasonal transition triggers is to figure out what types of weather cause an issue for you, and prepare yourself in advance. For instance, if hot weather usually causes a problem (sweat is an issue for many people with eczema), wear loose cotton clothing and stay hydrated.
This category can cover a wide range of issues. Food allergies like dairy, nuts, or eggs, environmental allergies such as grass, mold, pollen, dust, or pet dander, and contact allergies like chemicals in cosmetics or laundry detergent fragrances have all been known to trigger eczema symptoms. When you discover an allergen that causes your eczema to flare, you can make adjustments to avoid it.
Some skin irritants that aren’t allergens can cause an eczema reaction as well. This includes clothing that’s too tight or heavy, skin-irritating materials and fabrics such as polyester or wool, or even things like scented personal care products. Once you know what causes your eczema flare-ups, you can take steps to avoid those irritants.
If you’re in the midst of a bout of eczema and need expert care, the kalon Dermatology team is happy to help. Call or click online today to schedule a visit at our office in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.