Chronic eczema most often occurs on atopic terrain. This tendency to develop allergies is due to hereditary causes, but also to environmental (represented by allergens) and psychological causes still poorly understood.
All epidemiological studies indicate a rapid increase in atopy - related diseases in Europe. The increase of the manifestations of atopy, could be in connection with modifications of the lifestyle, more "hygienic", less in contact with certain important factors, in particular infectious, for the development of the immune system.
Atopy is a genetic predisposition to secrete high amounts of immune substances (immunoglobulins E) in response to environmental "allergenic" factors, allergens. Atopy can be expressed by respiratory (asthma), ENT (rhinitis), ophthalmologic (conjunctivitis), digestive (food allergy) and cutaneous (eczema) manifestations.
People who have developed atopic dermatitis during childhood will be more likely to suffer from chronic eczema.
As has been said, the causes can be multiple. Eczema can be triggered by certain irritating chemicals such as soaps, detergents, water, professional oils ... used at home and at work.
Chronic hand eczema is likely to affect young adults as well as people under 40, especially women. Indeed, women do more housework, and exercise more professions exposing their hands to chemicals and water (hairdressing, cleaning, hospital).
But men can also be affected (masons, workers ...).