Mieux Comprendre l’Eczéma

Better understand Eczema

Jan 31, 2024

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis , is a skin condition that affects millions of people around the world. Characterized by dry, red, itchy skin, it can have a significant impact on the quality of life of those who suffer from it. Although common, this skin condition remains poorly understood . Factors, symptoms, treatment: to learn more about eczema, take a look at our article.

What you need to know about eczema

What is eczema?

Eczema , also known as atopic dermatitis , is a chronic inflammatory skin condition . And this inflammation is actually the immune system's response to a perceived attack. In the case of eczema, this immune response can cause redness or swelling, for example. However, it is also important to remember that eczema can vary in severity from person to person and that the condition can change over time. But in all cases, we can say that eczema is characterized by dry, red, irritated and itchy skin .

Please note: Family history often plays a role in the development of eczema. If family members have a history of eczema, asthma, or allergic rhinitis, there may be a genetic predisposition .

And people with eczema usually have an impaired skin barrier : meaning their skin has trouble retaining moisture. Which then leads to dry skin that is prone to flaking (making the itching worse).

What are the factors that can trigger eczema?

Eczema triggers can vary from person to person. Indeed, keep in mind that each person can react differently to various factors, and that identifying the personal triggers of a particular individual can take time.

That said, there are some common things that can make symptoms worse or trigger flare-ups. Here are some of the most common factors in detail:

  • Allergens: Some allergens can trigger or worsen eczema. This can for example include dust mites, animal hair, pollen, mold, but also certain foods. Avoiding or reducing exposure to these allergens can help prevent eczema flare-ups.

  • Chemical irritants: Chemicals found in some soaps, detergents, lotions, perfumes and household products can irritate the skin and trigger eczema symptoms. This is why the use of hypoallergenic and gentle products is generally recommended.

  • Climate: Quite simply, extreme weather conditions, such as dry cold in winter or excessive heat in summer, can irritate the skin of people with eczema. Humidity and sweat can also play a role.

  • Sweating: Excessive sweating, especially if trapped under tight clothing, can make eczema symptoms worse. It is recommended to maintain good hygiene and change clothes after exercise or prolonged exposure to heat.

  • Emotional stress: Emotional stress is often associated with eczema flare-ups. Stress-related hormonal changes can affect the skin, and excessive scratching can be a reaction to stressful situations.

  • Clothing: Rough fabrics, itchy labels or tight clothing can cause excessive friction on the skin, which can then lead to eczema flare-ups. In this case, soft, seamless cotton clothing should be preferred.

  • Skin infections: Skin infections, such as those caused by bacteria or fungi, can trigger or worsen eczema. It is therefore essential to treat any skin infection quickly to avoid complications later.

Recognizing and treating eczema

How to recognize eczema?

To recognize eczema, as with other skin conditions, there are characteristic signs and symptoms that are usually easy to distinguish. Indeed, eczema can manifest itself by the following elements:

  • Intense itching : this is undoubtedly the main characteristic sign of eczema. People with this skin condition often feel an uncontrollable urge to scratch, which can make the condition worse.

  • Dry, irritated skin : Areas of the body affected by eczema can frequently be rough and have the appearance of cracked skin.

  • Redness : it can vary in intensity and is mainly visible on the parts of the body where the skin is thinnest.

  • Skin lesions : eczema can cause the formation of red patches, blisters, crusts, or even oozing.

Additionally, it should be noted that eczema can appear in different places on the body depending on age . For example in babies, it can appear on the face, cheeks, or even the scalp. And in older children and adults, it usually affects the creases of the elbows and knees, as well as the hands and feet.

Finally, identifying triggers can also help recognize eczema. Indeed, if symptoms worsen in the presence of allergens, irritating chemicals, stress or other triggers identified earlier in this article, this strengthens the diagnosis.

What are the solutions to treat eczema?

Although there is no definitive cure for eczema , it can be managed effectively with proper skin care, medication , and avoiding known triggers . Treatment for eczema traditionally aims to relieve symptoms , reduce inflammation , and prevent future flare-ups . Treatment approaches may vary depending on the severity of symptoms, but below are some commonly used solutions to treat eczema.

First of all, good hydration of the skin . Indeed, regular use of specific moisturizers can help keep skin hydrated, reduce dryness and prevent itching. Thus, emollient creams, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, are often recommended.

Additionally, creams or ointments containing topical corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and relieve itching. These medications are generally used on the affected areas of the skin, carefully following the healthcare professional's instructions.

Antihistamines may also be prescribed to help reduce itching, especially at night. Be careful though as they do not treat the underlying cause of eczema.

Still in the field of medications: a doctor can, in the most serious cases, prescribe topical immunomodulators . These are medications that modulate the immune system and may be prescribed for eczema, especially in sensitive areas of the face and neck.

And for natural solutions, there are also food supplements (in the form of capsules or oral solution ) based on plants or fruits known to soothe skin infections.

Finally, for some people, light therapy (controlled exposure to ultraviolet rays) can also help reduce skin inflammation. However, this phototherapy should only be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional.


Better understanding eczema is an essential step towards more effective management and improving the quality of life of those affected. While it is important to understand what it is, knowing how to identify the triggers is also important. As for symptoms and treatment, you have some keys here, but keep in mind that it remains essential to consult a health professional for a complete and precise diagnosis!

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