Learn about the causes of eczema and what makes a person susceptible to developing the condition.
Most people don't know that eczema is actually the name of a family of dry-skin conditions. All types of eczema feature the same symptoms: chronic dryness, irritation, and inflammation. It's important to know which type of eczema you suffer from so you can manage your eczema in the best way possible.
The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema. Read on to learn the differences between healthy skin and eczema-prone skin.
About the Skin's Barrier
Skin is the largest organ of the body. Although we sometimes take it for granted, skin forms a barrier that keeps us safe from multiple attacks every day.
Dermatologists sometimes like to compare our skin structure to bricks and mortar. If you were to look at layers of skin under a microscope, you'd see a beautifully coloured brick wall.
The top layers of skin are made up of tightly packed dead cells (the 'bricks'), and these cells are held together by fats (the 'mortar'): namely ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol. The result is a strong, waterproof layer of skin that resists attacks from allergens, irritants, and germs.
What Is Atopic Eczema?
Atopic eczema is caused when the skin's barrier function is impaired. In other words, the skin can't do its job well. Eczematous skin loses moisture too rapidly and may be unable to resist invaders such as bacteria.
This type of eczema usually begins in childhood, but it's not uncommon to develop atopic eczema later in life.
Is Eczema Genetic?
Atopic eczema is genetic. That's why most people develop this skin condition at a young age. However, if you've inherited only a slight vulnerability, eczema may lie dormant longer.
Atopic eczema occurs when certain genes leave the skin vulnerable to various stressors. These stressors could be anything from hard water to hormonal changes to allergens and irritants.
Researchers are trying to pinpoint the specific genes that make a person vulnerable to developing eczema. Until these genes are found, eczema cannot be cured, but it can be managed successfully.
If you'd like advice on skincare products for eczema-prone skin, please contact our trained customer service team. Adore Beauty reps are always available to suggest suitable skincare regimens for any complexion.
Adore Beauty also has a specific eczema skincare shop that highlights the best options for your skin.