What triggers my eczema?

Eczema is a chronic allergic condition that affects approximately 11 percent of Americans. While health professionals aren’t sure what causes it, certain triggers cause breakouts, which usually involve red, itchy skin. If you’ve ever experienced these symptoms and think you might have eczema, here are a few common triggers to avoid.

Environmental triggers

Beware of dry weather, because when your skin dries out, it is more prone to an eczema flareup. Use moisturizers with sensitive formulas to keep your skin hydrated. On the flip side, extremely humid weather can also cause an eczema flare-up. In high humidity, your skin might feel hot and prickly. Wearing light clothing can soothe your symptoms.

Other elements that your skin comes into contact with on a regular basis might also be the culprits. Some eczema sufferers have reported that showering in tap water triggered their eczema, and simply putting a filter on their showerheads caused their flare-ups to disappear. Artificial fragrances injected into many skin products, detergents, and cleaning products are another common trigger. If you regularly come into contact with these products, carefully read the ingredient labels.

Internal triggers

Hormones are substances produced by your endocrine glands, and they can have a powerful effect on many of your bodily processes. Many people, especially women, notice that changes in their hormone levels cause eczema flare-ups.

Food triggers

Certain foods can cause eczema flare-ups. To figure out what foods or ingredients trigger your flareup, try an elimination diet. An elimination diet involves removing major food groups—citrus fruits, soy, dairy, nightshade vegetables, gluten, nuts, eggs, and seafood—from your diet and then reintroducing them, one at a time, to see which ones cause your symptoms to return. The reintroduction period should last a couple months.


Emotional stress can also trigger a flare-up. This can cause a vicious cycle, because flare-ups can in turn be anxiety-inducing. But do your best to prioritize your emotional wellbeing; get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and spend time with family and friends.

There are also medical treatments that can get rid of, or at least control your eczema flare-ups. The skincare experts at Coastal Dermatology Center can not only help you discover your eczema triggers, but we can create a treatment plan to combat flare-ups so you can get back to enjoying life. Contact us today!