It's the question on the mind of every person with eczema. What is it that actually causes my flare-ups? Here, we reveal everything you need to know and how you can figure out the culprit behind your outbreaks.
The cause of flare-ups is a difficult question to answer. The challenge lies in the fact that it's different from person to person and that there are so many different triggers.
But with a bit of know-how and the use of technology, it's possible. Here, we’ll lift the lid on a framework to figure out what's causing your eczema flare-ups once and for all.
The causes of eczema are multi-factorial, which means that it's caused by numerous things. These are broadly categorised into genetic, environmental and immune factors. Whilst we can't do much about our genetics, we have a lot of influence over our environment and immunity. Collectively, we call them eczema triggers.
Triggers are anything that might be causing you to have an eczema flare-up. They can be split up into the following categories:
- Personal Factors - these are triggers that are controlled or influenced by you. Examples include your mood, sleep quality and how well you're following your skincare routine.
- Environmental Triggers - these are common environmental factors in your surroundings that may cause flare-ups. They include changes in the weather, pollen count, humidity and air pollution.
- Irritants - are sneaky and often include household items that cause skin damage. Well-known irritants are products such as cosmetics, soaps and detergents.
- Food - this isn't always the case, but some individuals suffer from intolerances or allergies that cause reactions. These are known as hypersensitivity reactions, whereby flare-ups occur 24-48 hours after contact with an allergen.
How To Discover Yours
The million-dollar question is ‘How do you figure out which triggers cause your flare-ups?’.
It all begins with awareness of the above categories. A great way to build this awareness is by tracking the various triggers. This will often include keeping track of the potential irritants you encounter and monitoring your environment.
You'll then need to figure out how your skin changes based on this. This can be done by using a scoring system or photo journalling daily to discover how the triggers correlate to your eczema.
All of the above can be challenging if you do this from scratch. Fortunately, you'll be able to complete all of the above using the Proton Health app. The product features a scoring system, photo journalling capabilities, trigger monitoring and environmental data. All of which allow you to quickly and simply discover your triggers.