Eczema is a skin condition characterized by red, itchy patches of skin. Although it can happen at any age, its onset is more common in childhood and is referred to as atopic dermatitis. Eczema, however, can occur at any age.
People with eczema don’t always have irritated skin. They can experience flaring followed by periods of remission. You may be surprised to learn that the underlying causes of eczema can reveal important information about your health.
1. It Could Be Something You Ate
A true food allergy shows up on the skin as hives, but rarely certain foods can trigger or worsen an eczema flare. If you suspect that something in your diet is to worsening your eczema, contact your doctor.
2. You’re Stressed Out
Stress is a major trigger of eczema. It may be one way the body is signaling to you that it is time to practice some self-care and slow down.
3. Your Skin Is Thirsty
Eczema outbreaks are common in winter due to dry air both inside and out. Drier air outside, as well as heating systems inside, can dehydrate the skin. For people prone to eczema, skin that’s too dry can easily become irritated, itchy, and break out in itchy, red patches. You can rehydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water, moisturizing well, especially after showering, and running a humidifier.
4. You Have an Infection or Serious Health Condition
Underlying health issues such as infections can trigger eczema flares, and swelling of the legs associated with congestive heart failure can result in itchy, red skin of the lower legs. Although the presence of eczema does not typically indicate an underlying concern, if your eczema is not responding to treatments as expected, it is best to bring it up with your dermatologist.