In order to keep eczema under control, one needs to understand what triggers eczema. There might be one particular factor, but there could be many. It really varies from person to person. This is what makes eczema so complex! Some triggers can be easy to identify, whereas others may take a long time to figure out. Here is a list of common triggers. One needs to know that many research studies are on-going and scientists are finding more and more information about this persistent skin condition. At LEMYKA, our technical team works hard to compile new findings from scientific journals and keep our posts as current as possible. If you have an eczema trigger that is not list here, but reach out to us or comment below. The more we know, the more we are equipped to deal with eczema and keep the symptoms under control.
Food allergies: Many types of food have been known to trigger eczema. Foods such as dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shell fish, soy are often linked with eczema flareups. There are also foods that are not so well known that may worsen eczema. Here are a few examples: tomatoes, citrus fruits, and certain spices, such as vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, anise. Vanilla is widely presents in many prepared foods. While blood test of IgE could be a great indicator when food allergy test is done, some foods do not necessarily trigger a high IgE reading. Our suggestion for parents is to keep a food journal. This daily recording effort will help overwhelmed parents keep things organized and as time goes on, you may find a pattern that helps you solve the puzzle. We do not recommend you to start an elimination diet unless you have a full understanding of what food that your child is allergic to, especially if your child is little. You want to make sure that your child has a healthy diet and daily balanced meals.
Airborne allergens: Environment factors can be another key trigger to eczema. Pollen, dust mites, grass, dander from your fury friends (pets we just can't get enough hugs), may trigger an allergic reaction or exacerbate existing eczema conditions. Skin prick test may help you identify what the environmental triggers can be. Using an air purifier during the spring, a humidifier during winters often easy eczema symptoms.
Skin allergens and/or irritants from household, skincare products, or even from fabrics (your clothes, bed sheets, scarfs, hats, gloves). For those with contact dermatitis, they are likely to flareup when in contact with skin allergens or irritants. While the list of skin allergens and irritants is really long, we included a few common ones. Skin irritant such as sodium lauryl sulfate, it is widely used in many shampoos, shower gels, bubble bath products, soap bars, dish wash, laundry detergent. This well-known irritant will lead to itching, redness, and dry skin. Nickel allergies are one of the most common contact allergies. Common sources of nickel are earrings, jewelries, metal watch, glasses frame. For those jewelry lover, having them gold plated may really help to minimize the contact with nickel. Another common allergen is propylene glycol, an ingredient often found in personal care as well as in skin care products. Textile contact dermatitis resulted from the skin in contact with fabrics like nylon, polyesters, wool, spandex, linen, etc. The allergic reaction may come from the additives in such fabric, such as formaldehyde, para-phenylenediamine (PPD), azo and anthraquinone dyes, flame retardants.
Stress: This is another common trigger for eczema. Everyone experiences stress throughout his or her life, and it can be hard to control. Please read our stress vs eczema article and find out more.
Medication: Prescription medication could also trigger eczema. Topical steroid could lead to thinning of the skin and make it more susceptible to more flareups. For those who stop using steroids, topical steroid withdrawal could lead to painful and severe skin complications. Please discuss with your physician about all aspects of medications prior to use.