What increases my risk for eczema?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are many factors that may increase your risk for eczema. One is frequent contact with irritants that can cause an allergic reaction. Experts believe that certain genes, an overactive immune system, and overall health can be factors. Some dermatologists think that a barrier defect -- which involves gaps in the skin where germs can enter -- can make a person more susceptible to eczema. Climate, stress levels, and being HIV-positive can also play a role in the development of certain types of eczema.
here are several factors that may increase your risk of developing eczema. People with hay fever, asthma or food allergies are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis than those with healthier immune systems. There appears to be a genetic connection as those with family members who suffer from eczema are at higher risk. Harsh environmental factors, like urban or dry climates increase risk. Dry skin, scratching, coming in contact with allergens and taking certain medications can all increase the likelihood that you'll develop eczema as well. Specific types of dermatitis have other risk factors. Atopic dermatitis affects mostly children, whereas local scratch dermatitis tends to affect those between 20 and 50 and females. Seborrheic dermatitis on the other hand affects more men and a large majority of people who have AIDS.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.