Newly Diagnosed with Eczema
The Inflammatory Loop
How one flare-up can trigger an inflammatory loop
When you’re wracked with a flare-up, you usually only see the visible signs, like redness, cracking, and itching. But a flare-up involves not only the skin barrier. It also involves your gut microbiome, immune system responses, sensory nerves and your behavioural response. When one flare-up knocks another bodily system out of whack, your body can perpetuate its own cycle of inflammation.
The Inflammatory Loop in Eczema
It is what it sounds like. One initial instance of inflammation can lead to subsequent bouts of further inflammation, creating a circularity that is challenging to treat. For those with chronic dermatitis that seems to be unresponsive to topical creams, more could be at play under the surface of your skin.
Weakened skin Barrier: In eczema, the skin's barrier is weakened, allowing water to escape too easily and irritants to penetrate. This imbalance contributes to inflammation.
Imbalanced microbiome: The skin and our gut health are connected. When the skin’s barrier is disrupted by inflammation, it can correlate with a disruption in the bacteria balance of our gastrointestinal system. You might notice a bowel discomfort, bloating, and other forms of irritation. These symptoms can affect sleep quality, which lower your body’s capacity to calm inflammation. Finally, certain types of bacteria that live in your microbiome could multiply and grow—such as Staphylococcus aureus, which also releases toxins as it thrives.
Reactive Immune System: Meanwhile, your immune system responds to the bacterial invasion, releasing inflammatory mediators like cytokines. However, these mediators, despite beneficial for the bacterial overgrowth, can also damage the skin barrier.
Stimulated Sensory Nerves: As those inflammatory mediators start to stimulate sensory nerves, you might begin to feel intense itching.
Perpetuating Behaviour: At this point, we are conscious of itching and discomfort. An itching-scratching cycle could start, which perpetuates overall inflammation.
Although we started at skin barrier, in reality, for an existing eczema condition, any of the factors above can initiate an inflammatory loop.
If this sounds like something that could be going on in your body, then addressing all the steps simultaneously is important. Rather than approaching eczema purely as a symptom of the skin, take steps to focus on your food and digestion, immune system, and behaviour patterns. Our blog is a good place to get started with some answers to common questions and care advice.
At Sade Baron, we’re here to support your skin’s healing journey. Whether you’re dealing with chronic dermatitis or seasonal dryness, our plant- powered treatments provide TLC to skin in need—and a path to long-term relief, naturally.
Take care of the skin barrier with our Eczema Care Set, which is fragrance-free and dermatologist tested. Containing avocado oil, camellia oil, coconut oil and vitamin E to naturally nourish your body and feed your skin with essential fatty acids, these creams and soaps protect your skin barrier from being stripped by harsh chemicals.
National Eczema Association. (2023, April 13). You’re Newly Diagnosed with Eczema—Now What? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbKfdAqSFOs