What Causes Eczema?
Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it appears to be linked to the following internal and external factors:
A family history of eczema, asthma or hay fever (the strongest predictor) - if both parents have eczema, there is an 80 per cent chance that their children will too
Particular food and alcohol (dairy and wheat products, citrus fruits, eggs, nuts, seafood, chemical food additives, preservatives and colourings)
Irritants such as wool, tobacco smoke, chemicals, emotional stress, weather (hot and humid or cold and dry conditions) and air conditioning or overheating
Allergens such as house dust mites, moulds, grasses, plant pollens, foods, pets and clothing, soaps, shampoos and washing powders, cosmetics and toiletries.
The infant with atopic dermatitis is more likely to be allergic to food than other children are. There is at least a 40 to 50 per cent chance that food allergies may be triggers if your child has moderate to severe eczema.
The foods responsible for 90 per cent of these reactions are egg, peanut, milk, soy, wheat, fish, nuts and shellfish.
See your doctor to find out what is triggering the eczema. You may then be referred to a specialist.
Possible causes of eczema and other skin irritations
Eczema can occur because of a number of different reasons. Genetic predispositions as well as external allergens are two of the main causes of eczema. The cause of eczema varies largely between the different kinds of Eczema. For example, Atopic dermatitis is generally linked to genetics while other types of eczema may be caused by irritants or allergens. Poor circulation in, for example, the legs could also be a cause of Eczema. Though the exact causes are not known, eczema has been linked to genetics, external factors such as irritants and allergens and even emotional factors such as stress. These factors are somehow associated with the malfunction of the body’s immune system. This malfunction of the skin’s immune system has been linked to low levels of one type of cytokine and the overproduction of other cytokines. This causes the skin’s immune system to attack itself, resulting in an inflammation of the skin and thus leading to eczema.