Doctors don’t know exactly what causes eczema. The most common type of eczema — atopic dermatitis — resembles an allergy. But the skin irritation, which is more often seen in children rather than adults, is not an allergic reaction.
The current thinking is that eczema is caused by a combination of factors that include:
- Abnormal function of the immune system
- Activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive
- Defects in the skin barrier that allow moisture out and germs in
What We Know About the Causes of Eczema
Here’s more detail on what’s known about eczema causes:
Eczema is not contagious. You or your children can’t catch eczema by coming in contact with someone who has it.
Eczema runs in families. That suggests a genetic role in eczema’s development. A major risk factor is having relatives who have or had: