The exact cause of eczema is not well known but researchers have determined that there is a genetic disposition for developing this skin condition. People with eczema have a different skin composition that is more susceptible to irritation and bacteria. A defect in the filaggrin gene, responsible for how the skin is formed and how it functions, weakens the epidermis’ protective barrier, often leading to eczema as well as other bacterial and viral infections.

The skin in such a debilitated state is also ultra sensitive when in direct contact with certain substances including types of fabrics, detergents, perfumes, jewelery, and dust mites; often prompting an allergic reaction. Additionally, a defected skin barrier is unable to hold enough water to properly hydrate the skin, causing severe dryness and cracking.

Exposure to extreme temperatures can also trigger an eczema flare-up. The excessive heat in the summer months causes our body to sweat more than usual which can itch and aggravate the skin. In contrast, during the winter, the air is very dry and causes the skin to become dry and brittle.

Stress is often the culprit behind many skin conditions and eczema is no exception. Emotional and psychological stress can put strain on the immune system making it harder to fight off viruses and infections.

Hormonal imbalance can also lead to eczema. When thyroid function is decreased, not enough blood circulates to the skin making the skin more susceptible to developing eczema and other skin problems.

Other factors that can cause eczema include certain foods, drugs, vitamin deficiencies, and digestive disorders.

Knowing what can lead to eczema means you have already won half the battle and can work to keep your body healthy and strong to prevent contracting the skin condition.