What Are The Most Common Triggers For Eczema?

Have you ever wondered what could be triggering your eczema flare-ups? If so, you’re not alone. Understanding the common triggers for eczema can help you better manage and prevent future outbreaks. From certain fabrics to harsh soaps, this article will explore some of the most common triggers that can exacerbate eczema symptoms. So, let’s dive in and discover how to keep your skin happy and healthy. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If you suffer from eczema, you know how uncomfortable and irritating it can be. Understanding the triggers for your eczema is crucial in managing and preventing flare-ups. In this article, we will explore the most common triggers for eczema and how they can affect your skin.

Environmental Triggers

Cold Weather

Cold weather is a common trigger for eczema flare-ups. When the temperature drops, the air becomes drier, and this can cause your skin to become dehydrated. Dry skin is more prone to irritation and itchiness, which can worsen your eczema symptoms. To combat this trigger, be sure to moisturize your skin frequently, especially in colder months.

Hot Weather

On the other hand, hot weather can also exacerbate eczema symptoms. When it’s hot outside, you may sweat more, causing your skin to become moist. This excess moisture can lead to increased itching and irritation. It is important to keep your skin cool and dry in hot weather. Wearing loose, breathable clothing and using a fan or air conditioning can help prevent flare-ups.

Low Humidity

Low humidity levels can strip your skin of moisture, making it more susceptible to eczema flare-ups. During the winter months or in arid climates, the lack of moisture in the air can worsen your symptoms. Using a humidifier in your home can help replenish the moisture in the air and keep your skin hydrated.

Dry Air

Dry air, whether from indoor heating or arid climates, can be a trigger for eczema. The lack of moisture in the air can cause your skin to dry out and become itchy and irritated. To combat this trigger, consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air and regularly moisturize your skin to keep it hydrated.


Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic pests that can be found in bedding, carpets, and furniture. They are a common trigger for eczema, as their microscopic droppings can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. If you have eczema, it is important to keep your living space clean and dust-free. Regularly washing bedding in hot water and using allergen-proof covers can help minimize exposure to dust mites.


Pollen, particularly during allergy season, can trigger eczema flare-ups in individuals who are allergic to airborne allergens. When pollen enters the body, the immune system can react and trigger eczema symptoms. To reduce exposure to pollen, it is recommended to stay indoors during peak pollen times, keep windows closed, and regularly wash your hands and face after spending time outdoors.

Pet Dander

If you are a pet owner and suffer from eczema, pet dander may be a trigger for your symptoms. Pet dander consists of tiny flakes of skin that animals shed, and it can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. If possible, try to limit your exposure to pets or create pet-free zones in your home. Regularly vacuuming and washing your hands after interacting with pets can also help minimize flare-ups.


Mold is a type of fungus that can trigger eczema symptoms in some individuals. It thrives in damp and humid environments, such as bathrooms or basements. To prevent mold-related eczema flare-ups, it is important to keep your living spaces clean and dry. Regularly clean and disinfect areas prone to mold growth and ensure proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.


Harsh Soaps and Detergents

Harsh soaps and detergents can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. For individuals with eczema, using gentle, fragrance-free cleansers and detergents is essential. Look for products specifically formulated for sensitive skin and avoid those containing harsh chemicals or fragrances.

Perfumes and Fragrances

Fragrances, whether in perfumes, lotions, or other skincare products, can be a trigger for eczema. The chemicals used to create these scents can cause allergic reactions and irritate the skin. Opt for unscented or fragrance-free products to minimize the risk of flare-ups.

Chemicals in Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate eczema-prone skin. When using cleaning products, it is important to wear gloves to protect your hands and avoid prolonged exposure to these chemicals. Consider using natural or eco-friendly cleaning products that are less likely to trigger your symptoms.

Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke contains a myriad of harmful chemicals that can worsen eczema symptoms. If you are a smoker with eczema, quitting smoking can significantly improve your skin health. Additionally, avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke is equally important in managing your eczema.


Stress is often considered a trigger for various health conditions, and eczema is no exception. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that can lead to inflammation and worsen your eczema symptoms. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques or engaging in physical activity, can help reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.


Sweating can trigger eczema symptoms for some individuals. The moisture and salt in sweat can irritate the skin and cause itching and redness. To prevent sweating-induced flare-ups, wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing and shower promptly after intense physical activity to remove sweat from your skin.

Food Allergies

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are known to be common allergens that can trigger eczema flare-ups in some individuals. If you suspect that dairy products are a trigger for your eczema, consider eliminating them from your diet and observing if your symptoms improve.


Eggs are another common allergen that can worsen eczema symptoms in certain individuals. If you suspect an egg allergy, it is advised to avoid consuming eggs and foods that contain eggs to see if it helps alleviate your eczema.


Certain nuts, such as peanuts and tree nuts, have been associated with allergic reactions that can trigger eczema flare-ups. If you have a nut allergy, eliminating nuts from your diet is crucial in managing your symptoms.


Shellfish, including shrimp, lobster, and crab, can be a trigger for eczema in individuals with shellfish allergies. Avoiding shellfish and checking food labels for potential cross-contamination are essential preventive measures for those prone to eczema flare-ups.

Fabrics and Clothing


Wool is a coarse fabric that can cause irritation and itchiness for individuals with eczema. The rough fibers can worsen pre-existing symptoms and even cause new flare-ups. Opt for soft, breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo to minimize skin irritation.

Synthetic Fabrics

Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, do not allow the skin to breathe properly. This can lead to increased sweating and moisture buildup, triggering eczema symptoms. Choose fabrics that are natural and breathable to help keep your skin dry and comfortable.

Tight Clothing

Wearing tight clothing can rub against the skin and cause friction, which can worsen eczema symptoms. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe and move freely. Avoid materials that may irritate your skin and opt for soft fabrics instead.

Rough Fabrics

Rough fabrics, like those with a coarse texture or rough seams, can irritate eczema-prone skin. Opt for smoother, softer fabrics that are less likely to cause friction and irritation. Avoid clothing with decorative stitching or embellishments that may irritate your skin.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes, particularly in women, can trigger eczema flare-ups. Fluctuations in hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can impact the skin’s barrier function and lead to increased sensitivity and inflammation. Maintaining a consistent skincare routine and keeping your skin moisturized can help mitigate flare-ups during hormonal changes.

Scratching and Friction

Eczema is often characterized by intense itching, and scratching the affected areas can worsen symptoms. Scratching the skin can cause further inflammation and damage, leading to a vicious cycle of itching and scratching. To prevent this, keep your nails short and moisturize regularly to alleviate itchiness. Additionally, wearing soft, breathable clothing and using smooth fabrics can help minimize friction against the skin.



Certain types of bacteria can exacerbate eczema symptoms, particularly when the skin is already compromised. Maintaining good hygiene practices, such as regular handwashing and proper wound care, can minimize the risk of bacterial infections and reduce the severity of eczema flare-ups.


Viral infections, such as cold sores or the flu, can trigger eczema flare-ups in some individuals. The immune response to viral infections can lead to increased inflammation and worsen eczema symptoms. Practicing good hygiene and avoiding contact with individuals who are sick can help reduce the likelihood of viral-triggered flare-ups.


Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or ringworm, can worsen eczema symptoms when present. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can lead to increased inflammation and irritation. To prevent fungal-related eczema flare-ups, keep your skin clean and dry, and avoid sharing personal items with others. If you suspect a fungal infection, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

In conclusion, understanding the common triggers for eczema is vital in managing and preventing flare-ups. By identifying these triggers and taking necessary precautions, such as regular moisturizing, gentle skincare, and avoiding exposure to irritants and allergens, individuals with eczema can significantly improve their skin health and minimize discomfort. Remember, everyone’s triggers may vary, so pay attention to your body and seek professional advice if needed. With proper care and management, you can live a comfortable life with eczema.