5 Common Eczema Triggers

 Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, affects 15% of children and 8% of adults. Though the rash comes and goes, flare-ups cause severe itching and a rash that’s often uncomfortable or downright painful.

Avoiding the triggers that cause a flare-up is one of the best ways to keep the rash in remission. Theresa Durchhalter, DO, FAAD, at Allure Dermatology, can help with that. 

In addition to working with you to identify triggers and recommending ways to avoid them, she also offers today’s most effective and advanced treatments, helping you find relief from a flare-up as quickly as possible.

About eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that can begin within the first few months after birth and appears before age six in 80% of all cases. However, it isn’t just a childhood disease.

You can experience your first eczema flare-up in adulthood. Additionally, many children with eczema struggle with the condition throughout their adult years.

Eczema begins when a genetic condition leads to a damaged skin barrier. The skin’s outermost layer forms a protective barrier that holds in moisture and prevents irritants from getting under the skin. If the barrier doesn’t work, your skin dries out, and harmful substances like bacteria can take hold.

The skin rash flares up when a substance inside or outside your body — a trigger — activates your immune system. As a result, skin inflammation develops, causing eczema’s itchy, inflamed rash.

You may also have swelling in the area under the rash and small bumps, oozing, and crusting. Of all the symptoms, the intense itching is the most challenging. 

Eczema’s severe itching makes it hard to avoid scratching. Unfortunately, scratching further damages the skin barrier, worsens the rash, and puts you at risk of an infection.

Common eczema triggers

Eczema flares up in response to numerous possible triggers. Five of the most common include:

Dry skin

Dry skin is a sure trigger for eczema. Each person usually has their own unique triggers, but everyone with eczema struggles with dry skin because of the damaged skin barrier. 

Pay special attention to skin care that protects the barrier is essential. The basics include:



If you have allergies, there’s a good chance your allergens trigger eczema. Food allergies are closely associated with eczema. Airborne allergens (pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mold) and contact allergens (anything that causes a reaction when they touch your skin) also activate eczema.

Warm environments

Heat generally serves as an eczema trigger. Taking a hot bath, being outside on a hot day, and sweating due to the heat can all cause flare-ups. 

Stress and anxiety

Cortisol is a hormone that activates many changes inside your body, including inflammation. When you’re stressed or anxious, your levels of cortisol increase. This inflammatory response triggers eczema if you frequently struggle with stress or anxiety.


A wide range of everyday products can contain chemicals that irritate your skin and serve as triggers. A few examples include:

Certain fabrics, especially wool and polyester, also activate eczema.

Finding help for eczema

Eczema is easily mistaken for many other skin rashes that usually run their course and disappear. But eczema is a chronic and particularly persistent condition that keeps returning. 

Though you or your child may have relief between flare-ups, a flare can last several weeks or longer, depending on the cause and whether you seek treatment.

We can help you identify and avoid eczema triggers, including finding gentle and safe products. Most importantly, we provide treatments that can shorten flare-ups, lengthen the time between flares, and lower your risk of complications like infections.

If you have itchy rashes that come and go, don’t wait to seek help. Call Allure Dermatology or book an appointment online today.

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