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What Causes Eczema?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Eczema, a common and often long-lasting skin condition, can be uncomfortable and distressing. To manage and prevent it effectively, it’s important to understand the causes and symptoms of the condition.

Different Types of Eczema

Eczema is not a one-size-fits-all condition; it encompasses various types, each with its unique characteristics. Here are two of the most common types of eczema:

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. It often begins in childhood and is marked by red, itchy rashes that can appear on the face, hands, and other parts of the body. This type of eczema is associated with a family history of allergies and asthma.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is triggered by contact with irritants or allergens. It can manifest as a red, itchy rash at the site of contact, and it’s often categorised into two types:

  • Irritant Contact Dermatitis: Caused by exposure to irritating substances like soaps, detergents, or chemicals.
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Occurs when the skin reacts to allergenic substances such as certain metals or plants.

How the Immune System Affects Eczema

While your immune system is there to protect your body, it can sometimes overreact causing further complications. In eczema, this leads to redness, itching and inflammation on your skin. 

This means that people with allergies are more likely to get eczema than others, because the immune system is reacting strongly to things like pollen, pet fur, or certain foods. These reactions can trigger or worsen your existing eczema.

Causes of Eczema


Eczema often has a family connection. If someone in your family has eczema, you’re more likely to develop it as well. While it’s not directly inherited, certain genes related to skin and immunity can make you more prone to eczema.

Environmental Triggers:

Eczema can be influenced by your surroundings and daily routines. Let’s see how different environmental factors can impact eczema.

Allergens and Irritants:

Certain things in your environment, like dust, pollen, pets, or strong soaps, can make eczema worse by causing itching and inflammation.

Climate and Weather Effects:

Weather matters too. Cold, dry weather can worsen eczema, while hot and humid conditions may lead to excessive sweating and more symptoms.

Lifestyle and Daily Choices:

Stress, hot showers, and certain detergents can also affect your skin and eczema symptoms.

Order Your Prescription with Healthera

If you’ve been prescribed medication to treat your eczema, you can now order your prescription online from your local pharmacy with Healthera. 

It only takes a few minutes to set up your prescription for collection or home delivery. 

To get started, simply click the button below:

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