Eczema, or dermatitis as it is sometimes called, is an inflammatory skin disorder. The severity of this disease can vary. In mild forms the skin is dry, hot, and itchy. In the more severe cases, the skin can become broken, raw, and bleeding. It is not contagious, but can become very unsightly. Eczema can affect any part of the body. In infants, eczema typically occurs on the forehead, cheeks, forearms, legs, scalp, and neck. In children and adults, eczema typically occurs on the face, neck, and the insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles. After "what is eczema", the most common question
we are asked is "what causes eczema."
There are two types of eczema. Atopic eczema is thought to be a hereditary condition. People with atopic eczema are sensitive to allergens in the environment which are harmless to others. In atopic eczema there is an excessive reaction by the immune system. This type of eczema can worsen after eating certain foods or after being exposed to other allergens such as pollen or dust. Atopic eczema can be a long-term condition. Contact dermatitis is the most common form of the condition and is often the result of an allergic reaction after touching something. This type of eczema can be caused by many irritants including feathers, metals, wool, plants and animal hair, soaps and detergents, bubble bath, cosmetics, fabric dyes, etc. It is important to remember many things can cause eczema. Now that you know what is eczema, and what can cause eczema, we can discuss how common it is.
How common is eczema?
The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis (or "atopic eczema"). Atopic eczema affects about 10-20% of schoolchildren and 3-5% of adults. Now that we have discussed what is ezcema and the eczema cause, we can go over treatment.