Health Library

Risk Factors for Eczema

A Family HistoryChanges in a certain geneEnvironment and LifestyleMedical Conditions

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of having a health problem. A person can have atopic dermatitis with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

Atopic dermatitis is most common in children. It often starts in the first year of life. Other things that raise the risk are:

Children are more apt to have atopic dermatitis if their parents have:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Some people with changes in the FLG gene are more at risk for atopic dermatitis.

    Atopic dermatitis is more common in those who:

    • Have a diet high in sugar and polyunsaturated fat
    • Have smaller families
    • Live in the city
    • Live in areas with less sun and low humidity
    • Smokeā€”or are exposed to smoke

    Atopic dermatitis is more common in those with asthma and allergies. This may include allergies to:

    • Plant pollen
    • Animal dander
    • Household dust mites
    • Molds
    • Certain foods

    Atopic dermatitis is also linked to certain:

    • Behavior and mental health conditions
    • Skin conditions
    • Inflammatory diseases


    Atopic dermatitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed March 22, 2022.

    Brunner PM, Silverberg JI, et al. Increasing comorbidities suggest that atopic dermatitis is a systemic disorder. J Invest Dermatol. 2017;137(1):18-25.

    Understanding eczema in children. National Eczema Association website. Available at: Accessed March 22, 2022.