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Eczema

Also called: Dermatitis

Summary

Eczema is a term for several different types of skin swelling. Eczema is also called dermatitis. Most types cause dry, itchy skin and rashes on the face, inside the elbows and behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. Scratching the skin can cause it to turn red, and to swell and itch even more.

Eczema is not contagious. The cause is not known. It is likely caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Eczema may get better or worse over time, but it is often a long-lasting disease. People who have it may also develop hay fever and asthma.

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. It is most common in babies and children but adults can have it too. As children who have atopic dermatitis grow older, this problem may get better or go away. But sometimes the skin may stay dry and get irritated easily.

Treatments may include medicines, skin creams, light therapy, and good skin care. You can prevent some types of eczema by avoiding

  • Things that irritate your skin, such as certain soaps, fabrics, and lotions
  • Stress
  • Things you are allergic to, such as food, pollen, and animals

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (National Eczema Association for Science and Education)

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Specifics

  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Images

  • (Logical Images)
  • (Logical Images)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Logical Images)
  • (Logical Images)
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Patient Handouts

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