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
Jul. 26, 2014

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