Eczema: The Itch that Rashes

While eczema and atopic dermatitis are often used interchangeably to describe a common condition, atopic dermatitis is actually a form of eczema.

Between 10 and 20 percent of the world's population is affected by eczema, a disease that can cause itching, oozing, scaling and crusting in children and adults.

Like atopic dermatitis, eczema has no known cause, but family history and environmental factors are thought to play a part in its development and frequency.

Eczema is often treated with prescription corticosteroids and over-the-counter medications to control itching and moisturize the skin. In infants and children with eczema, the condition usually improves with age.

Talking to Your Dermatologist About Eczema

Proper and early treatment is key to bringing eczema and its symptoms under control. Your dermatologist may explore several prescription-only options to treat your eczema, and recommend other ways to minimize itch and inflammation.

Make sure you provide your dermatologist with a complete medical history, including other members of your family who may have or have had eczema.