Eczema is a common, non-contagious skin condition that is characterized by dry, red, itchy skin. In more severe cases, the skin can crack or bleed. While the condition mostly affects babies and children, it can also affect adults.
What causes eczema is still unknown, but it’s been linked to both genetic and environmental factors. Those who develop Eczema symptoms are thought to have an immune system that is reactive to certain irritants.
Eczema-prone skin suffers from a dysfunctional skin barrier function. This means that it retains less moisture than healthy skin, resulting in dryness.
Certain external factors can also trigger eczema. The most common are:
Irritating products and clothing: Fragrances, soaps, laundry detergents, home cleaning products, wool, synthetic fabrics, etc.
Environmental factors: Dust, dust mites and pollens, pollution, changes in temperature, heat and sweat, very dry air
Lifestyle factors: food allergies, emotional stress, changes in hormone levels etc.
Please note that eczema is a highly individual condition. It affects everyone differently; what causes your eczema or triggers might be something completely different then someone else’s eczema.