The cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but a combination of genetic and environmental factors appears to be involved. The condition often is associated with other allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever, and food allergy. Children whose parents have asthma and allergies are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis than children of parents without allergic diseases. Approximately 30 percent of children with atopic dermatitis have food allergies, and many develop asthma or respiratory allergies. People who live in cities or drier climates also appear more likely to develop the disease.
The condition tends to worsen when a person is exposed to certain triggers, such as:
Taking too many baths or showers and not moisturizing the skin properly afterward may also make eczema worse.
Last Updated May 15, 2013