Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema is a general term describing a multitude of related skin conditions, usually manifested by dry, irritated, and itchy skin. Atopic dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, and hand dermatitis are common types of eczematous dermatitis (eczema).

Eczema usually occurs in those with a genetic predisposition to developing it. In those individuals, the skin barrier dries out and becomes compromised, resulting in microscopic cracks in the skin. Without proper treatment, these cracks worsen and become inflamed, resulting in skin that is red, scaly and itchy.

Eczema can occur at any age and is common in children, adults and the elderly. Proper therapy consists of not only treatment for the acute flares, but also maintenance treatment for long-term control of the eczema.