Causes

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The exact cause of atopic dermatitis (eczema) is unknown. Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Eczema is likely related to a mix of factors:

  • Dry, irritable skin, which reduces the skin's ability to be an effective barrier
  • A gene variation that affects the skin's barrier function
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, on the skin that creates a film that blocks sweat glands
  • Environmental conditions
July 26, 2014