What is eczema?

Eczema is patches of red, itchy skin. There are many forms of eczema. The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, affects 20% of people and frequently develops during infancy. Infants usually develop dry itchy patches on the scalp and face. Most children outgrow atopic dermatitis, but some people suffer with eczema their entire lives. As the years pass, the patches tend to involve the creases of the elbows and knees, but can occur anywhere.

Symptoms of eczema

Although the signs and symptoms vary for each person, generally those who suffer from eczema experience:

  • Dry skin
  • Red inflamed skin
  • Severe itching
  • Rough, scaly or crusty patches of skin

Treating eczema

Treatment begins with using special moisturizers that restore the skin’s barrier function and by avoiding skin irritants. Many eczema sufferers may also need a topical prescription-strength steroid cream.