Triggers

What Causes Eczema Flare-ups? [The Switcheroo Technique]

Proton-health-what-causes-eczema-flare-ups
Flare-ups can come and go frequently. In fact, the research suggests that they occur every 1 in 3 days. So the question is, what causes these eczema flare-ups? The answer lies in eczema triggers. These are various factors from irritants to the environment which cause skin irritation. Here, we’ll explore what they are and how you can discover yours!

Eczema Triggers

One of the best ways to prevent flare-ups is by controlling your triggers. They damage the skin by causing irritation. This leads to inflammation, which weakens the skin barrier. To bring them under control, you need to be aware of the various shapes that they can take. Triggers tend to come in 4 flavours:

  • Personal
  • Environment
  • Irritants
  • Foods

Here’s a breakdown of what they include:

Personal - These are anything you're in control of that may trigger your eczema. They include your mood, sleep, skincare routine, exercise, diet and water intake.

Environmental – These are environmental factors often out of your control — weather, pollen, humidity and air pollution.

Irritants – Some substances can cause you trouble without realising it. Irritants are a prime example. They tend to be found in products such as soaps, shampoos and fragrances. Their ingredients have been scientifically recognised as irritating many people's skin, not just those with eczema.

Foods – Allergies, intolerances and certain foods like eggs have been shown to irritate the skin of those with eczema.

Discovering Personal and Environmental Triggers

Within the Proton Health app, we’ve created an easy way to track your symptoms and personal triggers. By monitoring your Skin Score each day, the app begins to recognise which factors may be causing your flare-ups; you’ll then receive personalised content to help tackle the most troublesome.

As for the environment, our algorithms detect the area’s temperature, humidity, UV levels and air pollution. We then provide a Threat Score, which indicates the potential environmental impact on your skin. Then, as you continue to use the app, it begins to discover which weather changes impact your skin the most.

Irritants and Allergies: Where To Start?

These two categories are a lot more complicated. This is because, as eczema sufferers, we’re prone to Type II Hypersensitivity reactions. This means that we don’t react immediately to our irritants or allergies. Instead, the reaction happens after 48-72 hours. By this time, we have no idea what we came into contact with in the past 24 hours, let alone the past few days.

A common approach is to have an allergy test to discover any food intolerances. Skin prick testing is the most common method. It involves pricking the skin with potential allergens, and an allergy marker (called IgE) is measured. Unfortunately, the marker levels are not always reliable, and it turns out that this is the best we’ve got. Sigh.

But all is not lost because we’ve created a groundbreaking concept; the Switcheroo technique. It’s designed to help you discover any of your irritants or food allergies without having to stop all items at once.

The Switcheroo Technique - A Foolproof Way To Discover What Causes Eczema Flare-Ups

In short, the Switcheroo Technique works by swapping out different products and foods at various times to determine which one is the pesky problem.

Here’s how it's done…

  • List all of your possible irritants and food triggers. This gives you a list of all the likely culprits.
  • Go ahead and replace one of these with a hypo-allergenic version. These are versions that are specifically designed to avoid irritating your skin. If another version isn’t available or it’s a food item, you can stop eating/using it altogether.
  • Continue with the rest of your potential irritants as you usually would.
  • Make sure to track your eczema for a minimum of 7 days during the week. Note your symptoms and feelings (you can do this easily within the Proton Health app).
  • If you’re using the app, our algorithm will determine if your Skin Score has improved or decreased by avoiding this potential trigger. Otherwise, note down if your skin has improved or worsened.
  • If your skin improves, we may well have your culprit. Because by not coming into contact with this trigger, your eczema is better!
  • To ensure this is the harmful irritant, retry the potential trigger again and see if your flare-ups return.
  • If they do, you’ll have successfully Switcherooed this trigger. You stopped using the product, and your eczema got better, and by retrying it again, it's worse. So you now know to avoid this at all costs.
  • On the other hand, if you keep flaring up, this irritant is unlikely to be the baddy. So you'll need to repeat the technique from the beginning with another product.

Don’t forget to track your Skin Score regularly. Over time, the app will begin to learn your personal triggers. Additionally, you’ll find an environmental analysis to protect you from the elements. We’ve also incorporated the Switcheroo Technique, so you’ll do the above on autopilot. Get access here!

Learn More Here:

Eczema Causes And Triggers | National Eczema Association - https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/causes-and-triggers-of-eczema/

Top Eczema Triggers To Avoid | WebMD - https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/ss/slideshow-top-eczema-triggers

Reasons Why Your Eczema Might Be Flaring Up | Healthline - https://www.healthline.com/health/severe-eczema/triggers-how-to-avoid

August 1, 2022
by 
Dr Noreen Akram
Proton Health Programme
Transform your eczema with cutting-edge techniques and CBT in the app.
Proton Health Is Now Available 🎉
A personalised programme, advanced tracking tools, CBT and much more...