The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant. It is this response that causes the symptoms of eczema.
In addition, eczema is commonly found in families with a history of other allergies or asthma.
Some people may suffer “flare-ups” of the itchy rash in response to certain substances or conditions. For some, coming into contact with rough or coarse materials may cause the skin to become itchy. For others, feeling too hot or too cold, exposure to certain household products like soap or detergent, or coming into contact with animal dander (skin or hair) may cause an outbreak. Upper respiratory infections or colds may also be triggers. Stress may aggravate the condition.
Although there is no cure, most people can effectively manage their eczema with medical treatment and by avoiding irritants. The condition is not contagious and can’t be spread from person to person.