What Are The 7 Trigger Eczema?

Eczema can be a bothersome skin condition, causing itching, redness, and irritation. But did you know that certain triggers can make it flare up even more? In this article, we’ll explore the 7 common triggers of eczema that you should be aware of. Understanding these triggers can help you manage your eczema better and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. So, let’s dive in and uncover the culprits behind this frustrating skin condition.

Dry Skin

Lack of Moisture

Dry skin is a common cause of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. When your skin lacks moisture, it becomes more prone to irritation and inflammation. This can lead to the development of eczema patches. To combat dry skin, it’s important to keep your skin moisturized. Use hydrating skincare products, such as moisturizers and creams, that help lock in moisture and create a barrier against external irritants.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also contribute to dry skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. Harsh weather conditions, such as cold, dry winters or hot, humid summers, can strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture. Additionally, indoor heating and air conditioning can further dry out the air and exacerbate dry skin. It’s essential to maintain a comfortable and balanced environment to minimize the impact of these triggers on your skin.

Genetic Predisposition

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to develop eczema. If you have a family history of eczema, asthma, or allergies, you may be more susceptible to experiencing eczema outbreaks. While genetics play a role in eczema, it doesn’t guarantee that you will develop the condition. However, understanding your family history can help you take necessary precautions and adopt a skincare routine tailored to your skin’s needs.


Soaps and Detergents

Certain soaps and detergents contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. It is advisable to opt for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers when washing your body or clothes. Look for products specifically designed for sensitive skin to minimize the risk of irritation.


Fragrances, whether in skincare products, perfumes, or household items, are known to be common triggers for eczema. The chemicals used to create scents can be irritating to the skin. Choose fragrance-free or hypoallergenic products to reduce the chances of developing an eczema flare-up.

Metals and Jewelry

Certain metals, such as nickel, can irritate the skin and cause eczema. Nickel is commonly found in jewelry, especially in earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. It’s important to choose hypoallergenic or nickel-free jewelry to prevent any potential reactions. Be mindful of accessories that come into direct contact with your skin to minimize the risk of eczema flare-ups.


Some fabrics, particularly synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, can irritate the skin and worsen eczema symptoms. Opt for clothing made from natural fibers like cotton or silk, as they allow the skin to breathe and reduce friction against irritated areas. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing that may lead to additional irritation.


Certain cosmetics, including makeup, skincare products, and hair care products, can contain ingredients that trigger eczema. Pay attention to product labels and look for non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free options specifically catered to sensitive skin. Perform patch tests before introducing new products to your routine to ensure they don’t cause any adverse reactions.



Pollen, especially during allergy seasons, can trigger eczema flare-ups in individuals with pollen allergies. When pollen comes into contact with the skin, it can cause itching, redness, and inflammation. Minimize exposure to pollen by keeping windows closed during high-pollen times and washing your face and hands after spending time outdoors.

Pet Dander

Pet dander, which consists of tiny particles of skin shed by animals, can be a significant trigger for eczema in individuals with pet allergies. Avoiding direct contact with pets, keeping them out of bedrooms, and regularly cleaning your home can help reduce exposure to pet dander and minimize the risk of eczema flare-ups.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic insects that live in bedding, carpets, and upholstery. Their droppings contain proteins that can trigger eczema symptoms. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your home, using allergen-proof covers on mattresses and pillows, and washing bedding in hot water can help reduce dust mite populations and alleviate eczema symptoms.


Mold is a common allergen that can thrive in damp and humid environments, such as bathrooms or basements. Exposure to mold spores can trigger eczema flare-ups. Prevent mold growth by ensuring proper ventilation, fixing any leaks or water damage promptly, and regularly cleaning areas prone to mold growth.


Certain foods can act as triggers for eczema, particularly in individuals with food allergies or sensitivities. Common culprits include cow’s milk, eggs, nuts and seeds, gluten, and citrus fruits. Keeping a food diary and noting any potential flare-ups can help identify specific trigger foods. Consult with a healthcare professional or allergist to conduct proper allergy testing and develop a personalized diet plan.


Emotional Stress

Emotional stress, such as anxiety or tension, can worsen eczema symptoms. Stress has been known to disrupt the skin’s barrier function, making it more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. Finding healthy ways to manage and reduce stress, such as practicing mindfulness meditation, engaging in regular physical activity, or seeking support from friends and family, can help alleviate the impact on your skin.

Physical Stress

Physical stress on the body, such as excessive physical exertion or sweating, can also trigger eczema flare-ups. These stressors can lead to increased moisture loss and irritation. It’s important to find a balance between physical activity and rest to avoid exacerbating eczema symptoms. Additionally, taking measures to cool down and cleanse the skin after exercise can help reduce the risk of flare-ups.

Temperature and Humidity

Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can aggravate eczema symptoms. Cold weather can cause dryness and irritation, while hot weather can lead to excessive sweating and moisture loss. Dress appropriately for the weather, layering up in colder months and wearing breathable clothing in hotter months. Utilize humidifiers or dehumidifiers to maintain optimal humidity levels indoors.

High Humidity

High humidity can create a damp environment that promotes the growth of fungi and mold, which can trigger eczema flare-ups. Use dehumidifiers or air conditioners to reduce humidity levels in your home, particularly in bathrooms and basements. Keep rooms well-ventilated to prevent excess moisture accumulation.

Low Humidity

Low humidity can also contribute to dry skin and eczema. Indoor heating during colder months tends to lower the humidity levels, resulting in drier air. Using humidifiers and moisturizing your skin regularly can help counteract the effects of low humidity and keep your skin hydrated.

Hormonal Changes


Hormonal changes during puberty can have a significant impact on the skin and may trigger or worsen eczema symptoms. The fluctuation of hormones can lead to increased skin sensitivity and oil production, which can contribute to eczema breakouts. Practicing a consistent skincare routine and using gentle, non-irritating products can help manage eczema during this period.


Pregnancy also involves significant hormonal changes that can affect the skin. Some pregnant individuals may experience improved eczema symptoms, while others may see an exacerbation. It’s crucial to communicate any changes in your skin to your healthcare provider to receive appropriate guidance and treatment options for managing eczema during pregnancy.


Menopause brings about hormonal shifts that can impact the skin’s moisture levels and barrier function. With decreased estrogen levels, the skin may become drier and more prone to eczema flare-ups. Regular moisturization, avoiding known triggers, and discussing potential hormonal treatments with a healthcare professional can help manage eczema during menopause.

Certain Foods

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, contain proteins that can trigger eczema in some individuals. If you suspect dairy as a trigger, eliminating or reducing your consumption of dairy products may help alleviate eczema symptoms. Consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure you maintain a balanced diet.


Eggs, particularly egg whites, can be a common trigger for eczema. Avoiding or limiting your intake of eggs and egg products can potentially reduce eczema flare-ups. However, it’s essential to ensure you still obtain the necessary nutrients from other sources to maintain a healthy diet.

Nuts and Seeds

Certain nuts and seeds, such as peanuts, walnuts, and sesame seeds, can trigger eczema in susceptible individuals. It is advisable to be cautious and observe how your skin reacts after consuming these foods. If you notice a correlation between nut or seed consumption and eczema flare-ups, consider eliminating them from your diet or seeking guidance from a healthcare professional.


Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, can trigger eczema symptoms in some individuals. If you suspect gluten to be a trigger, adopting a gluten-free diet may help alleviate eczema flare-ups. Consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure you maintain a balanced diet and receive proper guidance.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, contain high levels of acidity that can irritate the skin. Some individuals with eczema may find that consuming citrus fruits worsens their symptoms. If you suspect citrus fruits to be a trigger, consider reducing or eliminating them from your diet and observing any changes in your eczema.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods, particularly those containing capsaicin, can cause increased blood flow and irritation in the skin. This can lead to eczema flare-ups in some individuals. Pay attention to your body’s reaction after consuming spicy foods and consider reducing their intake if you notice a correlation with eczema symptoms.

Microbes and Infections


Certain bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, can colonize the skin and exacerbate eczema symptoms. These bacteria can lead to infection and inflammation, causing intense itching and discomfort. Practicing good hygiene, keeping your skin clean and moisturized, and promptly treating any signs of infection can help minimize the impact of bacterial triggers on eczema.


Viral infections, such as cold sores or the common cold, can trigger eczema flare-ups in some individuals. These infections can cause immune system responses that exacerbate eczema symptoms. Practicing good hygiene, avoiding close contact with those who have viral illnesses, and maintaining a healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of viral triggers for eczema.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or ringworm, can worsen or contribute to eczema outbreaks. These infections thrive in warm, moist environments and can cause itching, redness, and inflammation. Proper hygiene, regular washing and drying of affected areas, and using antifungal treatments can help manage and prevent fungal triggers for eczema.

Scratching and Rubbing


Pruritus, commonly known as itching, is a hallmark symptom of eczema. The intense itching sensation can lead to a vicious cycle of scratching that worsens the condition. Scratching damages the skin’s protective barrier, making it more susceptible to irritants and infection. It’s important to find ways to relieve itching without resorting to scratching, such as applying moisturizers, using cold compresses, or engaging in relaxation techniques.

Excessive Scratching

Excessive scratching can further inflame the skin, worsening eczema symptoms and potentially causing breaks in the skin. These breaks can increase the risk of infection and prolong the healing process. If you find yourself excessively scratching, consider seeking support from a healthcare professional or exploring techniques to manage the urge to scratch, such as wearing gloves or using distraction strategies.


Rubbing or friction against the skin can aggravate eczema symptoms, particularly in areas where clothing or accessories consistently rub against the skin. Opt for loose-fitting, soft fabrics to minimize friction and irritation. Avoid rubbing or scratching vigorously when drying off after bathing, instead gently patting the skin dry to avoid further irritation.



Perfumes and fragrances can contain numerous chemicals that can trigger or exacerbate eczema symptoms. The chemical compounds in perfumes are known to be common irritants for sensitive skin. Opt for fragrance-free products, including perfumes and body sprays, to reduce the risk of triggering eczema flare-ups.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products, including household cleaners and laundry detergents, often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. These chemicals can remain on surfaces or clothing and come into contact with your skin, potentially causing eczema flare-ups. Choose gentle, fragrance-free cleaning products to minimize exposure to irritants.

Air Pollution

Air pollution, particularly in urban areas, can expose your skin to a range of pollutants that may trigger or worsen eczema symptoms. Environmental toxins can penetrate the skin and cause inflammation and irritation. Minimize your exposure to outdoor air pollution by wearing protective clothing, using air purifiers indoors, or seeking out green spaces with cleaner air when possible.

In conclusion, eczema can be triggered by a variety of factors, including dry skin, irritants, allergens, stress, temperature and humidity, hormonal changes, certain foods, microbes and infections, scratching and rubbing, and exposure to chemicals. Identifying and avoiding these triggers can help manage and minimize eczema flare-ups. It is essential to develop a personalized skincare routine, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and seek guidance from healthcare professionals when necessary. By taking proactive measures, you can reduce the impact of these triggers on your skin and improve your overall quality of life.