Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic, recurring inflammatory disorder of the skin. It is characterized by patchy/dry/itchy/scaly areas of the skin. Eczema is most common in people with a family history of asthma, allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis. It is also the most common skin condition for children under the age of 12 and occurs in approximately 10% of all children. More than half of all cases begin during the first year of life with 90% of cases developed by the age of 5.

In infants and toddlers, the areas of skin involved are typically the face, elbows and knees. In older children and adults, areas of involvement are usually the hands, neck, inner elbows, behind the knees and the ankles. It is not contagious. Although it typically becomes less severe as one becomes older, it is a lifelong condition which waxes and wanes.

Goals of Treatment

Preventive Measures

People with atopic dermatitis (AD) should use a combination of preventive measures and an individualized therapeutic regimen. Maintain short fingernails by cutting fingernails frequently in order to mitigate irritation from scratching affected areas. Avoid any triggers that may cause flare-ups such as: