Dermatologists at The London Clinic see many cases of eczema as it is such a common skin disease. Successful therapy usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes with medical treatment.
What causes eczema?
Eczema runs in families, affecting around 20% of children in the UK, often from an early age. Many children grow out of it and the prevalence of eczema in the adult population reduces to about 8%.
The symptoms of eczema range in severity from small patches of dry, itchy, red skin to multiple broken, weeping sores that can easily become infected.
Eczema can flare up, getting rapidly worse for a time, usually in response to a specific trigger. A wide range of environmental and emotional factors affect eczema including:
- Allergies to pets, dust mites, artificial fibres, metals and other substances
- Food allergies including nuts, wheat and dairy products
- Sweating due to exercise or warm temperatures
- Stress, which can create a positive feedback loop, as an eczema flare-up can cause more stress
- Bathing products that can irritate and dry the skin causing it to crack around eczema sites