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3 Things That Can Trigger Atopic Dermatitis

by Stella Robinson

Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a challenging skin condition that causes raised, scaly, dry skin. While common in children, adults can also struggle with recurrent dermatitis, especially if they aren't familiar with their individual triggers. Here are three different things that can trigger atopic dermatitis in kids and adults. 

1. Food Allergies

Trying new foods can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but unfortunately, it can also trigger allergic reactions in some people. While many associate severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis to food allergies, some allergic responses are more mellow, such as atopic dermatitis. 

After consuming an offending food, you may develop dry, itchy, or scaly patches on your skin. If this has happened to you, keep a food journal, and look for parallels between the things you eat and your daily skin comfort. If you notice that you seem to have flare-ups around particular foods, try eliminating that item to see if your condition improves. 

2. Stress

While you can do a lot to control what you eat, it isn't always easy to determine how things will go at work or at home. Stress can trigger an inflammatory response in many people, which can cause atopic dermatitis. 

If you struggle with eczema after you have endured a stressful situation, focus on self-care, and consider taking some time out for yourself. Exercise daily, take time to relax and unwind, or spend time with loved ones. 

3. Repeated Exposure to Certain Chemicals 

Atopic dermatitis is also caused by repeated exposure to chemicals, even if those chemicals are run-of-the-mill household products. For instance, some people develop eczema because of a long-term use of fabric softeners or household cleaning sprays. 

If you find yourself with eczema, think about the types of chemicals your body comes into contact with on a daily basis, and try to limit your exposure. Wear rubber gloves while cleaning, use a dye-free, scent-free laundry detergent, and consider using fewer products around your house. Some people even switch to one or two cleaning products, and then gradually add back in cleaners until they find the offending trigger. 

Anytime you find yourself struggling with eczema, it is important to reach out to a medical professional, such as a dermatologist. In addition to talking with you about the onset of your symptoms, physicians may also choose to treat your dermatitis with antibiotics or topical ointments. Follow your doctor's instructions, so you can determine whether or not the treatments are working, and seek additional therapy if needed. 

Contact a doctor for more information or atopic dermatitis resources