There is no single cause of eczema. It has a mixture of inherited and environmental causes that act together at different times. One may be born with an increased likelihood of developing eczema, which you inherit from your parents.
When one is exposed to environmental factors, such as dust or pollen, this causes eczema to appear. There are several triggers that can make your symptoms worse including genetics.
Research suggests that atopic eczema is largely an inherited condition. This means that the cause lies in the genes that you inherit from your parents. If a child’s parents have atopic eczema, it is highly likely that the child will also develop the condition.
Studies have shown that 60% of children who have a parent with atopic eczema will also have eczema. If both parents have atopic eczema, there is an 80% chance that a child will also have the condition.
It is not yet known exactly which genes are responsible for eczema. If your genes make you more likely to develop atopic eczema, the condition will develop after you are exposed to certain environmental factors, such as allergens.
Allergens are substances that can cause the body to react abnormally. This is known as an allergic reaction. Some of the most common allergens that can cause atopic eczema include: house dust mites, pet fur, and pollen.
Atopic eczema can sometimes be caused by food allergens, especially before the age of one. Foods that typically cause allergic reactions include: cows’ milk, eggs, nuts, soya and wheat.