There’s nothing more annoying than having an itch you just can’t scratch! But the more you know about eczema, the easier it becomes to manage it.
We take a look at the root cause of eczema.
Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions and each case is different. Anyone with skin prone to eczema lives and deals with it differently, but most will know the bane of that red-raw and sore skin yearning for some kind of relief.
It can often be tricky to determine the main causes of eczema, especially as different environments and lifestyles – even seasons! – can influence how it presents. As with many skin conditions, eczema can be caused by a combination of things. As far as we know, the main cause of eczema as a chronic condition is genetic, so if it runs in the family the chances are quite high that it will be passed on through genes and generations.
What causes a flare-up varies from person to person; for the most part though, it occurs in skin that has a weak protective barrier, making it hard for the skin to retain moisture and easy for irritants to pass through into the body, setting up an inflammatory response.
Though symptoms and causes vary from person to person, there is a broad handful of basic triggers that tend to provoke flare-ups in most people that struggle with eczema-prone skin:
- Environmental triggers (dust, pollen, pet hair, hot, cold or dry weather, etc)
- Internal triggers (stress, anxiety, exercise, sweat, lack of sleep, etc)
- Contact triggers (perfume, preservatives, household detergents, hard water, etc)
- Food and drink (wine, dairy, citrus, etc)
Read more about What Triggers Eczema? on our Info Hub.
How do triggers affect the skin?
More often than not, you’re left with dry, cracked and itchy skin that you can’t help but scratch. But with your skin then being red and sore from all the scratching, it will only carry on getting drier and all the more uncomfortable, especially if you are wearing irritating clothing! Fragile skin rubbing against tight, harsh fabric that was probably washed in detergent will leave those poor patches even more irritated.
Many of the triggers mentioned above may be hard to get around, as they’re everyday irritants and almost unavoidable. If you have pets or a high-stress job that doesn’t allow for much downtime, it can be very hard to change your routine to accommodate your skin. For many people, the list of triggers feels endless; managing those everyday irritants plus dietary requirements and allergies can quickly become overwhelming.
Identifying & avoiding triggers
However, as hard as it can be, it’s important not to despair if you can possibly help it: remember that stress is also a big trigger!
Instead, try to tackle the triggers one by one and break them down, as opposed to trying to fight everything at once. It’s better to have a well-devised and strategic battle plan that targets irritants one-by-one, as this way you will be able to focus on deciphering how your skin reacts to specific things more accurately.
Getting in touch with your skin
It can be really helpful to get in touch with your eczema by getting to know your skin. Listen to it carefully and take note of what it loves and hates so you learn to give it what it needs before it’s too late and it flares up. Even if they seem minor or irrelevant, keeping tabs of symptoms and triggers will help to monitor and track your eczema more accurately so you can be more comfortable and confident about managing your skin.
The repair and healing process for eczema-prone skin is challenging enough as it is, but when your skin is especially inflamed and broken it becomes even harder for it to absorb and retain moisture over all the damage.
In some cases, inflammation can make your skin prone to infections, as bacteria and microbes sneak their way under your already weak skin barrier. The itching, scratching and irritation of eczema can very quickly turn into a vicious cycle, especially if you haven’t found a skincare routine that works for you.
Balmonds: salvation for sore skin!
Balmonds aims to serve as a crutch for your struggling skin, giving it the moisture and nourishment it needs in its battle with eczema.
Along with a wide range of products specifically formulated to manage dry skin all over the body, we also want to provide you with the support and information you may need on your condition – browse the rest of our Info Hub for more articles!
We choose naturally nourishing ingredients, and avoid the synthetic ingredients that can irritate the skin; picking nature’s finest is what makes our products so rich and nourishing. Ethically sourced and 99- 100% natural, most of our range is even vegan-friendly – so you can rest assured that the planet stays hale and hearty while you treat your skin to all it needs!
Recommended products for eczema-prone skin:
Skin Salvation balm with beeswax, hemp & chamomile (from £7.99 for 30ml)
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter, hemp & calendula (from £13.99 for 100ml)
Balmonds Bath & Body Oil with lavender, hemp & chamomile (£12.99 for 200ml)
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.