Eczema is a form of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin.  The cause of eczema is not clearly understood.  It is likely partly due to heredity and possibly due to unclean environments.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs are dryness and rashes and contain at least one or more of the following symptoms: redness, crusting, blistering, flaking, cracking, swelling, oozing or even bleeding.  The rash may actually enlarge if it is scratched and it could eventually lead to scarring.


Eczema is usually diagnosed by sight and by history but a skin biopsy may be ordered to confirm it.  There is no known cure for eczema so the symptoms are treated to reduce the inflammation and control the itchiness.  Corticosteriods are quite successfully to control the symptoms and stronger steroids can be prescribed for more severe cases.  Antihistamines can be used to help with the itching and moisturizers should be used to help ease the dryness.  Ultraviolet light may be used as well.

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