Eczema is a collective term for a group of related skin disorders. These disorders cause symptoms such as inflammation, dryness, redness and scaling. While only 2-4% of adults develop eczema, it’s much more common in babies and children. Once the barrier of the skin becomes dry and damaged, irritation and sensitivity will follow.
Symptoms of eczema can be acute or chronic.
- Inflamed skin
- Peeling, flaking skin
- Cuts and cracks on the skin due to severe dryness
- Changes in color and skin texture
- Burning due to irritation or exposed, raw skin
Root Causes Of Eczema
While there are several root causes of eczema, the condition is usually treated the same way – with ointments or cream. Getting down to the root of the problem instead of simply treating the symptoms could help you gain better control over your condition.
1. Genetic Factors
Genetic factors can play a role in developing eczema. A mutated gene can result in reduced production of the protein known as filaggrin, which usually helps maintain the corneal layer of the skin.
2. Reduced Serum Production
If your body isn’t producing enough oil, the result can be very dry skin. Reduced serum production can be due to genetics or changes in the immune system.
3. Low Immune Function
Low immune function can lead to inflammation in response to yeasts and bacteria that live on the skin. It can be caused by medications, autoimmune disorders, untreated infections, nutrient deficiencies or poor gut health.
Allergies can cause a release of antibodies and a harmful immune response. Allergies can come from certain foods, chemical exposure or contact with other harsh toxins or substances, such as perfumes or soaps.
Long-term smoking or exposure to high amounts of pollution can cause toxins to build up inside the body, which can manifest on the skin. Long-term antibiotic use can also negatively affect the immune system and cause toxicity.
People who live in develop countries or colder climates develop eczema more often. This is most likely due to the dry and cold climate. Pollution and poor diet may also be factors.
Research has shown that breastfed babies have increased protection against allergies that can negatively affect the immune system. Children who are formula-fed may have a higher risk of developing eczema.
Scientists are still working to determine whether or not vaccines are related to eczema. Eczema has become more common as vaccine use has increased, but there isn’t clear evidence as of yet to confirm that the two are related.
How To Help Your Eczema
- Don’t scratch or peel dry skin. This can cause open cracks or wounds that allow bacteria to get in.
- Take a closer look at the food you’re eating, as well as your skin care products and household products. You may be allergic to something you come in contact with often.
- Eat a healthy diet full of anti-inflammatory foods that can help boost immunity.
- Make your own eczema cream with natural ingredients to help soothe your skin.