Eczema is a broad term used to describe different types of skin conditions. The underlying symptom of eczema is inflamed, dry skin that can be easily irritated, resulting in an itchy and painful condition.
Like many medical conditions, the causation behind eczema remains a bit of a mystery. It’s known that those that suffer from eczema have an over-reactive immune system, where triggers for eczema cause the body to attack itself. The symptoms are hints that there is too much inflammation in the body. The FLG gene that was discussed earlier, is the one leading causation behind atopic eczema.
There isn’t just one factor that causes eczema, but rather a combination of factors that have been recognized including:
- Hormonal changes
- At least 11 unrelated skin conditions can produce eczema
- Certain allergies whether environmental or food- Statistics reveal that 1/3rd to 2/3rd of children and young people with atopic eczema also had a food allergy.
- Contact with bacteria, certain viruses or mold
- Any sudden change in temperate
It is interesting to note that eczema may also have a domino effect on other allergy conditions. Up to 60% of those with atopic dermatitis going on to develop asthma or hay fever. Medical experts refer to this pattern as an “atopic march”. As you can see, the causes of eczema are not straightforward and much further study is needed in this area.