The functions of our body’s biochemistry will always be an interesting concept as we are all built differently.  It’s strange too that while one ailment may affect one person, someone else will be immune.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is no different. This is a common skin condition that creates dry, itchy, red, and bumpy patches on the skin. These symptoms are often combined with rashes on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet.

Unpredictable flare-ups can include red rashes, dry skin, cracking, crusting, and oozing. While eczema can come and go over the years or remain constant throughout life, and may overlap with other types of the condition, it is not contagious.

What causes eczema?

It’s mostly common in babies and children, but adults can have it too. The inflammation of the skin comes from a combination of the following:

Immune system activation: overreaction to small irritants or allergens. You're at an increased risk if you have asthma or allergies. There are treatments available to manage the symptoms, but there is no cure.

Genetics: if there’s a history of dermatitis in your family,

Environmental triggers: exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollutants, harsh soaps, fabrics like wool and some skin products, dry air, and heat.

Stress: heightened stress levels can cause or aggravate eczema.

According to the National Eczema Association, research shows that some people with eczema have an alteration of the gene responsible for creating filaggrin.

Filaggrin is a protein that helps the body maintain a healthy, protective barrier on the very top layer of  the skin. Without enough filaggrin, we lose moisture, and bacteria and viruses can then creep into the skin. Many people with eczema have dry and infection-prone skin.

Why this deficiency?

It’s simply a genetic mutation. When you have this deficiency, your skin lacks the ability to properly retain water, which leads to dryness and problems with skin inflammation. When your skin lacks the Filaggrin protein, you’re more prone to external environmental factors and substances.


Eczema can be a lifelong ailment unfortunately, and while there’s no cure for the condition, you can treat the symptoms with home remedies, as well as over-the-counter and prescribed medications. Skin creams, light therapy, and a good skincare routine are some of your options.

Your doctor will be able to diagnose the condition by examining your skin and conducting an allergy skin test or blood tests.

The good news is that there are many approaches to treating moderate to severe eczema conditions. Topical creams and a daily pill regimen could be prescribed if you have chronic and serious eczema. Speak to your doctor about the options.

Good to know

  • Moisturise your skin at least twice a day. Use products or a combination of products that work for you.
  • Apply an anti-itch cream to the affected areas.
  • Take an oral antihistamine or anti-itch medication.
  • Don't scratch! When you feel itchy, press on the skin instead of scratching.
  • Apply bandages to the affected areas. This protects the skin and prevents itching.
  • Fancy fragrances and scented soaps are nice for ambiance, but don’t do you any favours if you suffer from eczema. Take a warm bath using fragrance-free soap, thoroughly rinse off the soap, and moisturise while the skin is still damp.
  • Use a humidifier. Indoor air that is too hot and dry can dry out sensitive skin, causing irritation and flaking.
  • In hot conditions, wear light, breathable fabrics.
  • Stress can have a detrimental effect on eczema, so find ways to relax and de-stress.


This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.