Eczema is a group of chronic skin disorders that affect the hands, scalp, face, back of the neck, and skin creases of the elbows and knees. It can run in families, but it may occur for no known reason or be caused by an allergic reaction to certain foods, clothing, lotions, soaps, plants, or topical medicines.
Signs and symptoms of eczema may include itching, small bumps that look like blisters, and thickened and scaly skin.
Eczema can be treated with preventive measures and medicines. The goals of treatment are to ease symptoms, especially itching, and to control the rash.
Atopic dermatitis is one type of eczema.
Last Revised: June 12, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
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