You might be thinking that your atopic dermatitis is purely triggered by the world around you. You may have noticed that you sometimes experience flares if you change your laundry detergent or simply when the seasons change. So, it's understandable you could naturally assume that these things are the root cause of your AD. But this isn't necessarily the case.
You see, even when your skin looks clear between flare-ups, the other underlying causes of your AD (over-activity in your immune system and genetic factors) are still at play.1,2 As a result, there's continuous underlying inflammation beneath the surface of the skin, even if you can't always see it or feel it.2
A trigger could be something that sets off a flare.3 Even when you've tried your best to identify and avoid your triggers, flares can keep on happening and your AD can, unfortunately, still be there.2,3
This can be frustrating, but it's important for you to remember that this isn't because you're not doing well enough at managing everything that could possibly set it off. Avoiding certain triggers may help to stop some flare-ups from occurring in the short term, but there are still underlying factors at play that are harder to control.3,4 So that's why changing your lifestyle around your AD may not always help you gain long term control.5
It can be hard to identify what might be triggering your AD, as triggers vary from person to person.3 There may also be a delay between being exposed to a trigger and you experiencing a flare-up, so it can be difficult to make the link to what's triggered your AD.3
Get to know some of the potential triggers below.
The plain truth is that many triggers, environmental or otherwise, can be tricky to control.3,6 But the fundamental causes of your condition, like immunological and genetic factors, are far simpler to identify.2 So, it's best to ask a dermatologist about how you can manage your AD in a way that may provide long-term control.
It's a simple question, and we've got the simple answer. Let's break down the very basics of AD.Learn more
Feeling like you've tried everything to manage your AD? Don't lose hope. We've got the tips, tools and information you need to get closer to control.Go to Managing AD
There are different types of eczema, and atopic dermatitis is one of them. Learn about the differences between each type, and what makes AD stand out.Discover more
Guttman-Yassky et al. Semin Cutan Med Surg 2017; 36(3):100–103.
Bieber T. Ann Dermatol 2010; 22:125–137.
National Eczema Association. Eczema causes and triggers. Available at: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/causes-and-triggers-of-eczema/ Accessed July 2021.
Wollina U. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol 2017; 10:51–56.
National Eczema Association. How to identify and control eczema triggers without losing your mind. Available at: https://nationaleczema.org/tracking-triggers/. Accessed August 2021.
National Eczema Society. Triggers for eczema. Available at: https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/triggers-for-eczema/. Accessed August 2021.