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Facteurs aggravants eczéma.

What factors exacerbate eczema?

Eczema is a non-contagious skin disease characterized by an inflammatory reaction and itchiness. With multifactorial origins, eczema can also be exacerbated by various factors. Let's discover together which ones.

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Factor #1: The repeated friction between clothing and skin.

Excessive friction from clothing can cause additional irritation on already fragile eczematous skin, leading to redness, itching, and increased inflammation. The fabric's fiber also plays a significant role. Indeed, rough or irritating fabrics like wool should be avoided to prevent exacerbating eczema symptoms. It is also recommended for individuals suffering from eczema to choose soft, lightweight, and not too tight clothing to minimize friction.

Factor #2: Skin Dryness.

Individuals with eczema have a fragile skin barrier and hydrolipidic film, and often experience significant dryness, known as xerosis, between eczema flare-ups. This hydrolipidic film plays a crucial role in skin protection and limits the penetration of allergens. To combat skin dryness and strengthen this film, it is recommended for those suffering from eczema to apply a emollient balmdaily, which has moisturizing and protective properties.

Factor #3: Perspiration.

Sweating can be a source of skin irritation, especially in areas with eczema lesions. Indeed, it can cause burns or tingling sensations. This is largely due to the natural acidity of sweat, which has a pH between 4 and 6. Additionally, it contains sodium chloride, or salt, which has a drying effect on the skin. Dry skin, in turn, is a factor that exacerbates eczema. That's why it's recommended for people suffering from eczema to take a quick shower immediately after physical activity, followed by the application of an emollient.

Factor No. 5: Fungal Infections.

It has been demonstrated that colonization by certain parasites can exacerbate eczema. A recent study highlighted in a murine model mimicking a case of dermatitis that fungi of the genus Malassezia could trigger an increased release of interleukins 17 and 23 (IL-17 and IL-23). These cytokines, in turn, worsen eczema and skin inflammations more generally.

Factor #6: Cold Air.

Eczema often becomes more severe in winter. Indeed, the cold air during this time of the year tends to cause dryness and skin irritations, which are factors that exacerbate eczema. Therefore, it is advisable to dress warmly in winter and to use gloves, as hands are often the first victims of the winter cold. We also recommend using a nourishing hand cream during winter, and reapplying as often as you feel the need.

Factor #7: Pollution.

Several studies have shown that there is a link between pollution and the worsening of eczema. It has been specifically proven that exposure to fine diesel particles can increase itching in children suffering from eczema. Moreover, air pollution can also trigger an increase in the production of free radicals in the body, species that cause cellular damage and exacerbate skin inflammation.

Factor #8: Smoking.

Smoking is an exacerbating factor for eczema due to the irritating and polluting substances that a cigarette contains. These compounds easily penetrate the fragile skin barrier of atopic skins and trigger immune responses that cause eczema flare-ups. Moreover, it is estimated that a puff of cigarette smoke releases 200,000 free radicals. Thus, whether active or passive, smoking is currently considered the primary exacerbating factor for eczema.

Sources

  • ROGUEDAS A. M. et MISERY L. Atopie et stress. Annales de Dermatologie et de Vénéréologie (2004).

  • SPULS P. & al. Is there a rural/urban gradient in the prevalence of eczema? A systematic review. The British Journal of Dermatology (2010).

  • GOLDENBERG G. & al. Eczema. The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine (2011).

  • BURKEMPER N. & al. The association of smoking with contact dermatitis and hand eczema - a review. International jJournal of Dermatology (2018).

  • LEIBUNDGUT-LANDMANN S. & al. The skin commensal yeast Malassezia triggers a type 17 response that coordinates anti-fungal immunity and exacerbates skin inflammation. Cell Host & Microbe (2019).

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