It is a common belief that eczema is caused by food allergens. Whilst this may be partly the case, in many instances it is definitely not so at all. The actual cause of eczema is unknown.
Eczema is most common in people with a family history of asthma, eczema or hayfever. This indicates that there is a familial or genetic component to the condition. Your immune system is predisposed to you having eczema but this does not cause a flare up. What actually triggers the skin to break out in eczema will vary from person to person.
Eczema is a very individual condition. What triggers one person’s eczema may have no impact at all on another person’s eczema. Similarly what decreases the severity of the eczema will vary from person to person. It is this individuality of the condition that makes it impossible to find a total cure.
Trying to establish what is triggering your eczema is not always an easy process. Not all triggers will cause a reaction first time, so you may have discounted them as triggers. If you are having a problem establishing what triggers your eczema, eliminate all suspect products and then slowly reintroduce them one at a time.
Some common trigger factors are listed below:
Foods: Egg, cows milk, shell fish, peanuts, wheat, nuts, rice, codfish, food additives, alcohol, coffee and some fruit.
Environmental: dust mites, tree and grass pollens, hair, saliva and skin from animals, fungal spores as well as feather stuffing in pillows and doonas.
Man Made: detergents and household cleaners, perfumed soaps, bubble baths, some creams and ointments, solvents, some drugs and washing detergents.
Personal: scratching, emotional and psychological stress, overheating, woolen clothing and excessive bathing.