What is Eczema?

Eczema, an atopic disease, is the common name for atopic dermatitis (AD) and presents with inflammation and itchiness of the skin. Common places for eczema are inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the face. Though these are the usual locations, you can find it anywhere throughout the body. Other atopic diseases include allergic conditions such as hay fever and asthma. Atopic triad is uncommon, and refers to the presence of all three of these problems at once. Atopic dermatitis is genetic and inherited from one’s parents. When a child has a parent with atopic disease they have a 25% chance of having some form of atopic disease themselves. This goes up to 50% when both parents have an atopic disease.

EczemaWhen does it usually first appear?

Eczema usually presents itself during childhood, often as early as infancy.Patients typically see dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracks behind the ears, and rashes on the cheeks, arms and legs. “Flare-ups” are typical with the above symptoms, but if scratched, weeping and crusted sores may result.

What treatment options are available?

Treatment of atopic eczema ranges from simple use of mild soaps and moisturizers, to antihistamines and topical steroid creams, all the way to systemic steroids and ultraviolet light therapy.