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What causes eczema to flare up? - Dermclass by La Roche-Posay



If you have skincare questions, we have answers. From acne, to eczema and sensitive skin, we are looking at some of the most common questions and associated myths, as well as providing dermatologist advice on what works and what doesn’t.

What causes eczema to flare up?

What causes eczema to flare up?

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Eczema is a disease, it is not caused by stress, bad diet or poor hygiene. However, those external factors can sometimes cause eczemato flare up. You need to find what triggers your eczema flare-ups and avoid those factors, find what works for your skin. Managing stress and sticking to a daily skincare routine that hydrates your skin and restores its barrier to protect from irritants and allergens will help ease your symptoms. For more information on eczema watch our DERMCLASS videos: what is eczema and how to treat eczema.

What causes flare-ups?

A commonly asked question is whether stress affects eczema, and whether eczema is caused by stress. The short answer is no. We all suffer from some degree of stress, and we don't all have eczema. However, there is a connection between eczema and stress for eczema sufferers. If you have pre-existing eczema, and you're going through a stressful period in your life, it is likely that you will experience some degree of flare-up. People also often wonder whether their eczema is caused by their diet. In truth, there is no link between eczema and a bad diet, but research is being done to see if there are specific dietary triggers that can make eczema flare-up. There are very specific situations where diet can cause very specific types of eczema. However, in general, changing your diet will not have an effect on your eczema. Finally, another common myth is that eczema is caused by bad hygiene. This is not true. In fact, some patients will wash their skin excessively and realize that it is only aggravating their symptoms. Eczema is a disease caused by a combination of genes and triggers. The main triggers for eczema are irritants (detergents, certain products), allergens (pollen) and dry cold air which dries out the skin.

What to do to avoid flare-ups?

As someone suffering from eczema, you must develop a daily skincare routine and stick with it. Do not let your skin get dry and dehydrated, as this is a big cause of flare-ups for eczema-prone skins. Avoid overcleansing. Using a daily routine will help decrease the frequency and severity of your eczema flare-ups, thereby improving the appearance of eczema-prone skin. The itchiness that plagues eczema-prone skin will also subside as you manage the symptoms.

How do we treat eczema?

Step 1: Gently cleanse your skin


Clean your eczema-prone skin with a soap-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free cleanser. This will ensure that you do not strip your skin, maintain moisture and keep a balanced pH for healthy looking skin. For gentle cleansing, try La Roche Posay's Lipikar Syndet AP+M.

Step 2: Hydrate and soothe your skin


Care for your eczema-prone skin with a hydrating lotion. Seal that moisture in to prevent worsening symptoms. An ideal eczema product would help balance the microbiome, which is the community of microorganisms living on the surface of your skin. A balanced skin microbiome means a healthy skin barrier, reducing the severity and frequency of your flare-ups. An example of such a product is La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+M.

Step 3: On-the-go eczema treatment


Those who experience itching or flare-ups while at work or school would benefit from a portable solution that immediately soothes eczema symptoms. You want to avoid scratching your skin. If it is troublesome to apply a thick lotion while outside of your home, opt for La Roche-Posay Lipikar Stick AP+M, an on-the-go anti itch stick that is applied like a deodorant on trouble spots.

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