Atopic Eczema

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Eczema is a chronic skin condition and is also called dermatitis. The most common type is atopic eczema, in which a dry, itchy rash develops. Dr. Edward Hill discusses atopic eczema in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Atopic eczema is an immune system disease, the exact cause of which is unknown. Outbreaks, or flare-ups, are often caused by environmental factors such as certain fabrics, chemicals, perfumes, pets, dust, smoke, foods or stress.

Atopic eczema usually starts in infancy or childhood but many children outgrow it. Occasionally, adults develop it.

Eczema is not dangerous or contagious but it can cause discomfort and distress.

Symptoms usually involve an extremely itchy rash that causes the skin to turn red, swell, and scale, burn or form small blisters. If small blisters develop, they may ooze and become crusty.

Eczema typically comes and goes. A flare-up can start with severe itching that causes a rash, in turn making the itching worse. Over time, the skin may thicken and as a result itch constantly.

There is no cure for eczema, but you and your doctor can work together to manage it. Treatment involves preventing environmental triggers when possible, maintaining appropriate skin care, and using medications.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.