Eczema is a chronic that affects the skin. It is not contagious; it cannot be passed from one person to another. With eczema, the skin becomes extremely itchy. Scratching often leads to redness, swelling, cracking, "weeping" clear fluid, and finally, crusting and scaling. There are typically periods of flares and remissions in most people. Although Eczema can occur at any age, it most often begins in childhood. In many children with eczema, the skin disease improves or disappears altogether as they grow older, although their skin often remains dry and easily irritated. In others, eczema continues to be a significant problem in adulthood. While the cause of eczema is unknown, it is thought to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
Eczema is actually a general term for several types of disorder which cause irritation and inflammation of the skin. The most common of the many types of eczema is Atopic dermatitis. Other types include: Allergic contact eczema (dermatitis), Dyshidrotic eczema, Neurodermatitis, Nummular eczema, Seborrheic eczema, and Stasis dermatitis.
Treatment of Eczema
There are two goals in the treatment of eczema. The first is to prevent flares of the disease, which can be accomplished by using medications known as immuno-modulators and reducing skin irritants. The second treatment goal is to protect the skin during flares to reduce the discomfort and problems associated with scratching. This is often accomplished by using cortisone creams and other lotions to protect the skin.