Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition. It causes areas of skin to become discolored, itchy, and inflamed. Various treatments can help reduce inflammation and other eczema symptoms.

The symptoms of eczema typically get worse during “flare-up” periods. During a flare-up, the affected skin may become very itchy. Scratching can then cause skin to crack or swell. Topical steroids or other treatments can help reduce itchiness, swelling, and other symptoms.

Eczema can cause or worsen inflammatory responses in the body. In some cases, inflammatory responses to lifestyle factors may also increase the chance of developing eczema.

This article will explore the link between eczema and inflammation. Keep reading to learn about what causes inflammation, how to treat it, and more.

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Eczema typically increases inflammation levels in the body. This occurs when the immune system becomes triggered unnecessarily.

Triggering the immune system can increase the number of inflammatory proteins in the body. These proteins activate the immune system when they detect a threat. Individuals with eczema have larger numbers of these proteins. This may lead the immune system to react even when it is not necessary.

Research has shown that genetic abnormalities may contribute to eczema inflammation. These abnormalities have a negative effect on the skin barrier. People who inherit these genetic changes may have a higher chance of developing eczema.

Certain lifestyle factors may also increase inflammation within the body. In some cases, this increased inflammation can trigger chronic conditions like eczema.

Having obesity, drinking alcohol, and sleep deprivation can all increase inflammation. This increased inflammation may trigger an immune response. For some individuals, this could increase their risk of developing eczema.

One 2016 study also demonstrated that smoking can increase the chance of eczema. Researchers believe that smoke may have a negative effect on the skin barrier. It can also increase inflammation within the body. Both of these factors may lead to eczema in certain instances.

Individuals with eczema should speak with a doctor to learn more about the role of inflammation. A medical professional can provide treatment to address inflammation. They can also recommend steps to reduce inflammation through lifestyle changes.

Inflammation is a common symptom of eczema. But what causes eczema? Researchers believe that issues with the skin barrier can lead to eczema. They have also found that immune dysregulation can increase the risk of this condition.

Individuals with a family history of eczema have a higher risk of developing eczema. These individuals may have genetic changes that affect skin health. Eczema may also develop after exposure to certain environmental factors. These may include:

  • pollutants in the air
  • tobacco smoke
  • perfumes or fragrances
  • lotions or soaps

These and other triggers can cause inflammation of the skin. Some individuals may experience inflammation on small areas of skin. Others may have inflammation across larger areas of their body during an eczema flare-up.

There are many ways to treat eczema flare-ups with at-home care. At-home eczema skin care may include:

  • moisturizing the skin 3 times each day
  • using a humidifier to hydrate the skin
  • taking lukewarm baths, not hot
  • using gentle soaps
  • avoiding irritants that worsen symptoms
  • not scratching the affected areas

In addition to these skin care tips, it is crucial to stay hydrated during a flare-up. A doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory ointments. They may also recommend an antihistamine medication to take at night. These treatments can help reduce itching, swelling, and other symptoms.

An eczema flare-up may respond well to at-home care. However, anyone experiencing new or worsening symptoms should speak with a medical professional.

The following are answers to some questions people frequently ask about eczema and inflammation.

Can eczema be caused by inflammation?

Researchers have found that inflammation can increase the risk of skin conditions like eczema. Eating certain foods, smoking, and consuming alcohol can all increase inflammation in the body. In certain cases, this could lead to an eczema flare-up.

Is eczema an autoimmune disease?

An autoimmune disease occurs when an individual’s immune system attacks the body. Eczema does not involve the immune system damaging other parts of the body. So, it does not qualify as an autoimmune disease.

How do doctors reduce inflammation in eczema?

Doctors may prescribe antihistamine medications to help reduce itching and inflammation. They may also recommend steroid ointments to soothe affected skin. To learn more about reducing eczema inflammation, speak with a medical professional.

Eczema resources

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Eczema is a skin condition that can cause redness, itchiness, and inflammation. It may occur as a response to environmental triggers like tobacco smoke or certain perfumes. Individuals with a family history of eczema have a higher risk of developing this condition.

Inflammation may be a result of immune activation. Genetic changes that affect the skin barrier may also increase the chance of inflammation. In certain cases, inflammation caused by lifestyle factors can increase the risk of developing eczema.

Individuals with eczema may experience itchiness or discomfort during a flare-up. However, there are many treatment options that can address these and other symptoms.