Triggers in hiding

Which Trigger is Most Difficult to Manage?

Anyone living with atopic dermatitis (eczema) is all too familiar with the concept of a trigger. Triggers can take many forms, and can come up at any time to begin or exacerbate a flare. We recently polled our community members to see what kinds of triggers they have. Specifically, we asked what trigger, or triggers, are the most difficult to manage. The responses we received were incredible! So many of our members shared such great insight, that we wanted to highlight some of their responses below.


One of the most commonly received responses on what triggers are the hardest to manage was stress. So many of our community members said they struggle the most with managing stress and the accompanying feelings that come along with it, including nervousness. Stress is difficult to handle for anyone, let alone someone struggling with a chronic condition like atopic dermatitis.

  • “Stress”
  • “When you’re stressed out”
  • “Being stressed and nervous”


Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, however, some of our community members reported exercise being a trigger for them. For many, this doesn’t refer to the act of exercising itself, but rather, the sweat produced after working out.

  • “Exercise”
  • “Exercise. Unless I shower directly after a sweat-filled working, which isn’t always realistic, eczema is right there to make me uncomfortably itchy and red.”

Foods and beverages

Certain foods and drinks can serve as triggers for atopic dermatitis, and the same triggers that affect one individual, may not affect another. Finding what foods or drinks trigger your flares can be a very difficult thing to master.

  • “I’m starting to wonder if tomatoes and tomato products are giving me flare-ups. I love me some salsa, and rotel tomatoes, but I cut back on them and am somewhat better. But I’ve also been on treatments for over a month now and new medications.”
  • “Coffee or soda…dehydrates me!”
  • “Food”
  • “All shellfish and spicy and hot food”

Extreme temperatures and changes

Many members reported that difficult triggers to manage often surround the weather and temperature. These triggers include changes in temperature, extreme temperatures, or certain times of year where a particular weather pattern is present.

  • “Weather changes”
  • “Heat”
  • “Winter weather. Also, hay fever season”

Multiple triggers

For many of our members, their most difficult to manage trigger wasn’t just one single trigger, but rather, multiple triggers. Sometimes these triggers were related, but often they were very diverse.

  • “Weather changes, wool, some makeup, and stress”
  • “Dryer sheets, stress, humidity, and hugging people with animal dander or cologne”

The unknown...

For others though, the most difficult trigger to manage was understandably, “the one that I don’t know about yet.” Learning about and navigating life with atopic dermatitis triggers can be a difficult and lifelong process, with new issues always arising. Let us know what your hardest to manage trigger is, whether it’s one we’ve listed above, or something completely different!

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Community Poll

What is your most difficult to manage trigger?

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