Glossary On Causes of Eczema

Numerous factors have been suggested as a cause for eczema (dermatitis/ skin allergy) but no exact origin and mechanism has been pin-pointed for this condition. Most of the studies simply speculate as to what can trigger this condition and a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors has been strongly implicated.

An abnormal function of the immune system (allergy/ allergic response) is seen in most cases where the body reacts abnormally to external impressions which otherwise don’t have an impact on healthy individuals.
Some of the triggers for eczema include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental allergens: House dust, sand, smoke, animal dander, pollen, molds, etc.
  • Dietary allergens: Milk & milk products, soy, fish, eggs, peanuts, etc.
  • Contact with irritant substances such as soaps, detergents, cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, etc. Even contact with certain forms of clothing, rubber, watches, jewelry, some metals such as nickel, etc, can trigger it off.
  • Changes in temperature and humidity
  • Dry climate and excessively cold temperature
  • Psychological stress - This has been advocated as a cause in a large number of cases. How stress triggers off the altered immune response is not clearly understood.
  • Impaired blood circulation especially in the legs - leads to stasis dermatitis
  • Genetic factor: This has been strongly implicated as a cause for developing eczema. Often, patients with eczema are seen to be having some form of family history of allergies, asthma, hay fever or other forms of allergic diseases.
  • Unknown factors trigger certain forms of dermatitis such as seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, etc.