Eczema Causes, Triggers, and Solutions: Answers to Your 12 Most Itching Questions

Eczema Causes, Triggers, and Solutions: Answers to Your 12 Most Itching Questions

What is eczema?

An eczema is a group of conditions that causes the skin to become itchy, inflamed, and red. Eczema is non-contagious and may be chronic or acute. It’s possible to have more than one type of eczema simultaneously. Dermatologists can help you identify which types of eczema you may have and how to treat and prevent flare-ups.

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (usually affects the scalp)
  • Stasis dermatitis

What causes eczema?

Scientists have yet to determine precisely what causes eczema. People with it tend to have an overactive immune system that responds by producing inflammation, causing red, itchy, and painful skin symptoms common to most types of eczema.

Who gets eczema?

31.6 million people in the U.S. have some form of eczema. 1 in 10 individuals will develop eczema during their lifetime. People with it are more prone to skin infections due to problems with the skin barrier and increased bacteria on the skin. 

Are asthma and eczema related?

Yes. Asthma, allergic Rhinitis, and food allergies are common eczema conditions. Dry skin triggers eczema. When your skin gets too dry, it can become brittle, scaly, or rough, leading to eczema flare-ups.

How can I avoid eczema flare-ups?

Keep your skin moisturized and avoid common irritants like fragrances, formaldehyde, and isothiazolinone (an antibacterial found in baby wipes). 

Which eczema cleanser is best?

If you suffer from eczema, use a cleanser with a low pH, like our Bare Bar. This gentle facial (and body) cleanser contains sunflower seed oil, an anti-inflammatory ingredient with skin barrier-restoring effects. Its major lipid is linoleic acid, known to decrease inflammation in the skin.

Our Bare Bar also contains lavender oil to help inhibit immediate-type allergic reactions, and coconut oil is an excellent emollient that provides natural antibacterial benefits. The coconut oil in our Bare Bar is saponified, which means it will not clog your pores. 

Why does eczema itch?

Filaggrin is a protein that helps our bodies maintain a healthy skin protective barrier. Without enough filaggrin, moisture can escape, and bacteria can enter. This is why many people with eczema have dehydrated and infection-prone skin, contributing to inflammation and itch. 

How do I reduce the itching?

The first step to managing itchy skin is to reduce the risk of it happening in the first place. This can be done by using prescription medications as prescribed. 

Natural remedies for itch relief include soaking in a bath with oatmeal, using cold compresses, patting itchy skin instead of scratching it, and frequently moisturizing throughout the day.

Try to scratch your skin sparingly. Too much scratching can lead to more rashes, thickened skin, and infections. Wear soft, breathable, natural clothing, and avoid sitting on grass or rough upholstery with bare legs. Cotton gloves and short fingernails can help protect the skin from night-time scratching. 

Which moisturizer is best for eczema?

The Moon Shine is a calming oil that enhances skin barrier repair and hydration. It contains chamomile, a member of the daisy family that has been used for centuries for treating many conditions like skin inflammation and contact dermatitis. Studies have revealed that chamomile is comparable with 0.25% hydrocortisone and shows improvement in contact dermatitis. 

Can blue light (therapy) reduce itching? 

Yes, phototherapy may reduce symptoms of itch. In a clinical trial, blue light was shown to cause a significant reduction in the severity of itching. Blue light may benefit chronic inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, as it produces an anti-inflammatory effect. 

Can stress cause eczema? 

Emotional stress can be an eczema trigger, but it’s unknown exactly why. For some people, eczema symptoms worsen when they’re feeling stressed.

Are contact dermatitis and eczema the same thing?

Not exactly. Contact dermatitis happens when the skin becomes irritated after coming in contact with something that triggers an allergic reaction. There are two main types of contact dermatitis: irritant and allergic.

Irritant contact dermatitis doesn’t involve an allergic reaction. It happens when skin cells are damaged when exposed to irritating substances, such as: 

  • Solvents
  • Detergents
  • Bleach
  • Nickel-containing jewelry, 
  • Belt buckles 
  • Hair dye
  • Clothes with metal snaps or zippers 

Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed allergic reaction that appears a day or two after the skin is exposed to an allergen. Common causes of allergic contact dermatitis include:

  • Poison ivy
  • Fragrances
  • Nickel 

If you suffer from mild to moderate eczema, you can rely on natural or over-the-counter remedies to reduce and manage your symptoms. Severe cases require medical treatments prescribed by dermatologists. You may benefit from a consultation with an allergist if you do not respond to standard treatments.

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