What causes eczema flare-ups? (2023)

The scientific community has not identified the exact causes of eczema. However, research has identified several risk factors for eczema, including genetics, an overactive immune response, and bacterial imbalances in the skin's microbiome. These factors can be exacerbated by environmental, emotional, and topical triggers, which can also lead to eczema flare-ups.

Eczema flare-ups can range from manageable to severedebilitating. Knowing what triggers your eczema can help you reduce your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.

Here's what you need to know about eczema flare-ups, including the most common eczema breakout triggers.

What is an eczema flare-up?

Eczema symptoms tend to come and go. An eczema flare occurs during the acute eczema stage, when a person's eczema symptoms become "more active." Outbreaks usually occur in response to one or more triggers and are often accompanied by intense symptoms, including:

  • Dry skin
  • itch
  • Rash (color varies with skin tone)
  • skin sensitivity and swelling
  • Thick skin (rough, leathery patches)
  • Flaky and crusty skin
  • Urticaria, burning, blisters
  • bumps on the skin

Öextreme itchingthat occurs with flare-ups can make you do ithard to sleep, disrupting your daily life and affecting your mental health.

The duration of an outbreak depends on thetype of eczemayou are dealing with, its severity and the health of your skin's microbiome. For more information on how long outbreaks last, see our article “How long does it last or eczema?

triggers of eczema

The causes of eczema flare-ups vary from person to person. Below are the most common types of eczema triggers, but this is not an exhaustive list. If you've avoided these triggers but are still struggling with eczema flare-ups,Work with your dermatologistto determine what is making your symptoms worse.

1. Dry skin

Dry skin and eczema - especiallyatopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema - go hand in hand. But while dry skin does notCausedeczema, canDeductionan outbreak of eczema. Especially when dry skin becomes cracked and flaky, it becomes irritated more easily.

(Video) 3 professional tips to treat (and cover) eczema flare-ups

How to deal with breakouts caused by dry skin

It is very important for people with eczema to have a skin care routine that includes regular moisturizing. Not only does moisturizer help keep your skin hydrated, it also creates a barrier between your skin and the outside elements that aggravate dryness.

It's also best to avoid activities that dry out your skin, such as B. long, hot showers or baths. Make sure you apply moisture right after you shower or bathe, wash your hands, or after exposure to extreme weather conditions such as heat, cold, and humidity.

2. Allergens

When people think of allergies, sinusitis often comes to mind first. However, your immune system can react to allergens in very different ways, which is why allergens can also act as triggers for neurodermatitis. This can happen when you are exposed to allergens through inhalation or direct skin contact.

Note for parents:Eczema is part ofatopic Triassic, a term used to describe the likelihood that children who have one of three conditions — eczema, allergies, or asthma — are more likely to develop the other two. If your child has eczema, check out our guidesControlling eczema in babieseKinder.

environmental allergens

While there are many different types of allergens that can trigger eczema, these are the most common airborne culprits:

  • Pollen
  • mites
  • animal hair
  • Mofo
  • smoke (especially cigarette smoke)
  • cockroaches

Dealing with eczema flare-ups caused by airborne allergens

The place where you can best control the allergens you encounter is your home. Regular cleaning can go a long way in reducing allergens. If you're allergic to dust mites, try to reduce clutter in your home where dust can collect. Consider investing in a quality air filter and zippered covers for your mattress and pillows. If you have pets that are contributing to your allergies, at least try to keep them out of your bedroom.

food allergens

Food allergies are a big problem for people with eczema. Common food allergies include cow's milk, eggs, soy, gluten, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Allergic reactions to foods can cause hives, rashes, or digestive problems. Severe allergic reactions can cause anaphylaxis: a life-threatening reaction in which the airways become swollen and make breathing difficult.

If you don't have a food allergy, you may still be wondering if the foods you eat are causing your eczema. In general, more research is needed on the extent of the connection betweendiet and eczema. However, there is anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that certain foods may contribute to the inflammation associated with eczema.

Dealing with food allergen-induced eczema flare-ups

If you have a reaction after eating certain foods, contact your doctor immediately. They can provide advice on living with food allergies and advise on the appropriateness of allergy skin testing.

(Video) What Causes Eczema to Flare Up - DERMCLASS

Eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding processed junk foods are beneficial for your skin and overall health. If you're concerned about certain food intolerances contributing to long-term inflammation, it's best to consult your doctor, who can recommend nutritional advice.

The contact allergens

Eczema can also develop when the skin comes into contact with an allergen. This type of eczema is calledContact dermatitis. Common contact allergens are metals (nickel, copper, chromium, cobalt, chloride, and gold), rubber, and certain chemicals used in cleaning products, cosmetics, and skin care products. We'll go into more detail on the latter in the irritants section below.

Dealing with flare-ups of eczema induced by contact allergens

Whenever possible, reduce your exposure to the allergens that are causing your flare-ups. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the allergen that is triggering your flare-ups, this can be a relatively easy or intense process. For example, nickel isn't just found in jewelry—it's a naturally occurring metal that's even found in foods like soy.

If you're unsure if you have a contact allergy, speak to an allergist about a patch test, which can help identify which specific allergens might be affecting you. After you identify your allergens, your allergist can provide specific information about common sources of your allergens.

3. Climate and environmental factors

Let's talk about the weather, okay? Special,Eczema and the Weather. If you live in a place where extremes can happen — extreme heat, extreme cold, or extreme dryness or humidity — exposure to any of these conditions could trigger your eczema. Meanwhile, the changing seasons can also trigger reactions in your body's immune system as your body adjusts to each season's "new normal."

living at very high altitudesit can also affect the health of your skin. The cold weather and low oxygen levels at high altitudes increase the production of stress hormones and make it difficult for the body to deliver oxygen to skin tissues (an important element in the skin's healing process).

Dealing with environmental flare-ups

Wearing clothing that suits your climate can do more than just be comfortable — it can also help protect your skin. This can be harder than it sounds, especially in colder climates, where you should opt for clothing that protects you from the weather but allows your skin to breathe (since, as we'll see below, sweat can also cause eczema ).

And like dry skin, one of the best defenses against weather-related breakouts is staying hydrated. Quality moisturizers can nourish the skin's natural barrier and create an extra barrier between the skin and the environment.

For specific seasonal tips, visit our resources on treating flare-ups inWinterecair.

(Video) How to handle eczema flare-up (My 4 step checklist to clear skin)

4. Stress

When you are stressed, your body responds with increased stress.Hormonelike adrenaline and cortisol. Excess cortisol can suppress the immune system and trigger an inflammatory response that can trigger an eczema flare-up. Stressors can include the eczema flare-ups themselves, creating a vicious circle.

How to deal with stress-induced eczema flare-ups

Sometimes stress is unavoidable and the last thing you want to do is increase your stress by adding more things to your to-do list. However, the following can help you stay in a better place mentally: exercise, meditation, getting more sleep, journaling, and spending time with people who give you energy. Even adding small amounts of these activities into your routine can make a difference. Read more about these tips in our article
eczema and stress.

5. Irritants

As with eczema allergens, the list of potential eczema irritants is long. Here are the top irritants to look out for in your home and everyday life.

chemicals in household products

Many household products are not designed for skin conditions. The following products often contain fragrances, drying alcohols, preservatives, parabens, and other chemicals that can dry out your skin and trigger eczema flare-ups.

  • laundry detergent
  • shampoos and conditioners
  • hand and washing-up liquid
  • shower gel and other bath additives
  • Make-up remover and make-up remover
  • detergents and disinfectants

Dealing with chemically induced eczema flare-ups

Review your cosmetic and household products and replace them with products for sensitive or eczema-prone skin. This can get expensive if done all at once; So if you're on a budget, try to start with the products you use the most.

Your dermatologist will likely be able to provide you with a list of eczema-friendly household products. For skin care, check out theGladskin Eczema Collectionfor minimally formulated, microbiome-friendly products designed for those with eczema-prone skin.


Certain fabrics and materials—organic and non-organic/synthetic—can trigger eczema flare-ups because they trap heat and sweat or have a rough texture, including:

(Video) Is this Causing Your ECZEMA? (Easy Way to Tell) 2023

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • rayom
  • spandex
  • There

Dealing with tissue-induced eczema flare-ups

Replacing clothes from disruptive fabrics can also be prohibitively expensive, so we recommend starting with the key pieces in your wardrobe. Look for pieces that are made of 100% cotton, bamboo, linen or TENCEL and have a slightly loose fit.

chlorine & salt water

Swimming with eczemaexposes your skin to chlorine or salt water, which can trigger or worsen flare-ups.

How to deal with swim-induced eczema flare-upsApply barrier cream before swimming, use sunscreen to reduce the effects of UV rays, and shower immediately after swimming (preferably with aLiquid soap for skin prone to eczema) and moisten again.

6. Beacon

Sweat can trigger an eczema flare-upmany different ways. When sweat evaporates, it leaves behind a salty residue that can irritate and dry out your skin. Eczema can also make it harder for sweat to drain out of your pores, causing sweat to "leak" under your skin. When this occurs, your body can treat the sweat as an allergen and respond with an eczema flare-up. Finally, some studies have shown that thesweat compositionIn people with eczema, it can contain higher than average levels of glucose, which can act as irritants, and lower than average antimicrobial properties.

How to deal with sweat-induced eczema flare-ups

See the fabrics section above for tips on finding eczema-friendly clothing for general everyday use. if you have any problemsTreatment of flare-ups of eczema caused by sweatingInstead of exercise, opt for loose, eczema-friendly clothing, exercise indoors, or switch to low-sweat exercises like yoga.

For parents with children who play sports, read our article aboutAtopic Dermatitis Navigation school sports.

Gladskin: Eczema flare-up symptom relief

Hydration is one of the most important ways to prevent and reduce the symptoms of eczema flare-ups. But not all moisturizers are created equal. Many moisturizers contain irritating fragrances or chemicals that can worsen the appearance of eczema.

(Video) THE WORST eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis mistakes people make during FLAREUPS and how to fix them

Creme Eczema Gladskin von Microobalance®is the only eczema cream on the market that moisturizes the skin while balancing the microbiome. Ahealthy microbiomeacts as a filter for what enters the skin and works with your immune system to keep your body healthy.

When you're dealing with flare-ups, you deserve a reliable solution to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Our Eczema Cream is clinically proven to reduce the itching and irritation of eczema - without the use of steroids. Gentle and moisturizing, it restores balance to allow the skin to heal.

try today, along with our other products specifically designed to do soskin prone to eczema.


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