Eczema is a skin condition that is caused by a defect in the skin's protective structure. This can leave the skin utterly vulnerable to irritation and infection. Recognizing and examining the risk factors associated with eczema is important for prevention and management of the condition. Here are some examples of the most common risk factors for eczema:

Childhood

Eczema most often develops when we are children. Approximately 90% of people develop eczema before the age of five. Eczema often improves into adulthood; however, an estimated 50% of children who develop eczema have the condition for life.

Genetics

Most skin care professionals believe that eczema is a genetic defect of the skin that can be inherited by a family member. Parents, who suffer from allergic disorders including eczema, are at a higher risk of having children with eczema. However, it is still not fully understood how exactly eczema is passed on genetically.

Temperature

In cold weather skin can become very dry and brittle and in extreme heat conditions people often produce high amounts of sweat that can aggravate the skin.

Allergies

People who suffer from allergies are also more susceptible to developing eczema. Some of the most common allergens that can cause eczema are:

•    Plant pollen
•    Pet dander
•    Molds
•    Household dust mites
•    Certain foods

Other Factors that can increase the risk of an eczema flare-up include substances that cause skin irritation. These include fabrics such as wool, soaps or detergents, perfumes, jewellery, dust, and household cleaners.