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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Eczema
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions


Alternate Names : Atopic Dermatitis, Atopic Eczema

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Eczema is a skin condition that causes patches of dry, scaly, extremely itchy skin.

What is going on in the body?

Eczema usually results from a hypersensitivity, or allergy-like sensitivity, causing inflammation. The inflammation causes the skin to become itchy and scaly. Eczema is not a true allergy. Rather, it is a condition in which the skin may react or become sensitive to allergens, which are allergy-causing substances.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Eczema is usually related to a history of hypersensitivity or reaction in the body similar to an allergy. Although eczema is more common in babies and young children, older children and adults may also experience eczema. It seems to be more evident in those with a history of asthma or hay fever. It is also more common in a person who has a family history of eczema, hay fever, or other respiratory allergies.

Flare-ups of eczema may occur with exposure to environmental factors, such as stress, dry climate or high temperatures, soaps, chlorine, and other irritating substances. Foods that may cause worsening of symptoms include peanut butter, milk, or eggs.


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Eczema: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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