Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes persistently itchy, dry, and red skin. The underlying etiology is associated with a defect in the external skin barrier, causing recurrent cycles of inflammation – often known as the ‘itch-scratch’ cycle. It is important to rule out other internal and external triggers for eczema. Treatment of eczema is focused on the restoration of the skin barrier, achieved with a combination of topical hydration and anti-inflammatory medications.
Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly. In fair-skinned people, these areas may initially appear reddish and then turn brown. Among darker-skinned people, eczema can affect pigmentation, making the affected area lighter or darker. In addition, eczema is commonly found in families with a history of other allergies or asthma. Also, defects in the skin barrier could allow moisture out and germs in.