Q:

What causes eczema to flare up?

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Quick Answer

Eczema flares up due to a combination of genetic, inherited and environmental allergen triggers, according to WebMD. The common allergens that cause eczema flare-ups include food allergies, eggs, wheat, nuts and pollen among others. Allergies do not cause all flare-ups. Some irritants in the environment cause them. These can include chemicals such as perfumes and detergents, the weather, hormones, or even stress.

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Full Answer

To prevent or lessen eczema outbreaks, individuals should avoid materials that aggravate the condition, stay away from stress, and refrain from using harsh soaps and detergents. They should be conscious of any foods that cause outbreaks and avoid them. Remedies such as deep breathing, yoga and relaxation exercises can be practiced to lessen stress, WebMD advises.

The aim of treating eczema is to prevent and relieve itching that occasionally leads to infection. Eczema makes the skin dry and itchy, and that is why creams and lotions are recommended to moisturize the skin, explains WebMD. Products acquired over the counter, such as hydrocortisone 1 percent cream, and prescribed ointments and creams that contain corticosteroids, lessen inflammation. Additional solutions include tar treatments, which reduce itching, antihistamines, which reduce severe itching, and phototherapy, which treats the skin with ultraviolet light. Doctors often prescribe cyclosporine to people whose eczema does not respond to other treatments.

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