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What Causes Eczema in Adults?

Skin diseases can be a nightmare for many. This is because they undermine your appearance and are a source of discomfort due to the onset of various symptoms.

One such skin disease is eczema. While it may not be contagious, it still manages to be quite a common ailment.

There are various lotions for eczema available which serve to reduce the occurrence of symptoms. Due to the prevalence of the disease, one might wonder what it exactly is and what causes it. We have provided you with all the needed information about the disease.

What Is Eczema?

Before delving into the causes of eczema, it is important to understand what the disease is. According to James McIntosh of Medical News Today, eczema can refer to any skin condition which features a rash. More commonly, the term is used for atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease which starts showing its symptoms in people as early as infancy and continues to do so throughout their childhood as well. It refers to the inflammation of the skin that is brought about by the workings of the immune system or due to allergic sensitivity. Hence, it can be viewed as an internal complication and, therefore, is not contagious.

While some people outgrow atopic dermatitis when they enter their adulthood, others do not. As per Dr. Daniel Wallach, approximately 10% of the patients diagnosed with eczema during their infancy or childhood continue to suffer from it in their adulthood as well.

Although it may not be a source of worry for patients in some cases, in other scenarios, the disease can lead to further complications.

What Cause Eczema in Adults?

The National Eczema Association has written an article about the causes of eczema. It sheds light on the fact that to this day, the exact cause of the disease is a mystery. However, researchers have been able to narrow down the causes to environmental reasons along with complications at a genetic level.

It is believed that people who have eczema feature an immune system which is in an over-reactive mode. This immune system tends to get triggered quite easily.

For instance, when the said person comes into contact with allergens or irritants, their immune system works by attacking the body rather than defending it from the germs. This leads to inflammation of the skin which then turns into red and scaly patches that tend to itch.

At a genetic level, research has been successful in showing that those who have eczema might have a mutated gene. Researchers have been able to identify this gene as the one whose purpose is to create filaggrin.

Filaggrin is a protein that is present in the body. It plays an integral role in constructing a protective layer on top of the skin to ensure that no moisture escapes and no bacteria enter.

Those who have a mutated gene are unable to produce the required amount of filaggrin which means that bacteria can enter their body with immense ease. Additionally, moisture is able to escape. Together, this causes the occurrence of dry skin and vulnerability to infections.

Possible Triggers of Eczema

Various factors persist in the environment that may aggravate the symptoms of eczema. According to a Healthline publication which was reviewed by Dr. Debra Sullivan, possible triggers of the disease can include the following:

  • The chemical that is found in detergents since it tends to dry out the skin and in case of eczema patients, this occurs at a more severe rate than for the average individual.
  • If your body temperature is raised, the chances of the symptoms getting worse increase.
  • Sweating tends to be an attraction for bacteria which might enter the skin of a person with eczema.
  • Synthetic fabric and food allergies also tend to increase the severity of the symptoms.

The Eczema Treatments for Adults

WebMD has shed light on the proper form of treatment of eczema in adults. The key goal that is wished to be achieved through the treatment is to prevent itching and relieve skin irritation. When both these symptoms are dealt with, the skin damage and infection that occurs can be treated effectively.

The whole pitfall of the disease is that it makes the skin as dry as possible while causing a rash. The best treatment for eczema by default is to ensure that the skin does not get dry.

How can you make sure of this? You can do so by keeping it moisturized.

Products like eczema soap and lotions for eczema are available which are to be applied when the skin is wet.

When your skin is damp, it can absorb as much moisture as possible. If you use lotions for eczema at this point, the chances of your skin absorbing them and retaining the moisture are high.

Moreover, you can make uses of cold compresses to get rid of the itching sensation. Items like cream for eczema and eczema soap contain steroids and can be purchased over the counter or can be prescribed to you by your doctor. These products tend to reduce inflammation.

If the symptoms are worse than usual or persist after applying the prescribed lotions and soaps, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids and antibiotics.


While Eczema can be quite a frustrating disease to have, in most instances, it tends to disappear when you enter your adulthood. Even if it doesn’t, there are various treatment options available for you to avail.

If you are a patient of eczema, do not suffer in silence. Instead, visit a doctor as soon as possible while using over-the-counter products like lotions and soaps. Make sure your skin remains moisturized at all times.

Even though we are not 100% sure of what causes the disease, this has not stopped researchers and doctors from finding out ways to eliminate it. Ensure that you reap benefits from these treatments.