Learn more about Eczema (Dermatitis)
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by the inflammation, swelling or irritation of the skin. Eczema affects as many as 35 million Americans. Eczema is not dangerous, but it can cause significant discomfort if the skin itches. When that happens, the condition may worsen if the eczema is scratched.
Atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, is the most common form of eczema and is often found in babies and children.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults will develop atopic eczema. Causes include:
- An overreaction to environmental triggers by the body’s immune system
- Family history of allergies or asthma
- A defect in the skin which causes it to not properly regulate moisture and germs
- Irritants – Environmental elements such as soaps, detergents and certain fabrics
- Stress – Any form of stress, such as work, family or social issues, can trigger eczema
- Climate – Dramatic decreases in humidity can trigger eczema and cold, damp conditions can hamper eczema treatments
- Animal dander
- Upper respiratory infections