A closer look at eczema

As you may know, eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic and common condition. And there is no cure. Almost 18 million adults and children in the United States live with eczema. Genetic factors are one cause of eczema. If you have a parent with asthma, hay fever, or eczema,
you may be more likely to develop eczema.

Eczema often appears as a rough, red skin rash, and is often accompanied by oozing, crusted bumps. Eczema can happen almost anywhere on the skin. It may also look different on different people. The face, neck, wrists, and ankles are common sites for many people, depending on their age. Places where your body bends—like your elbows or the back of your knees—are also common.

Symptoms include:

  • Redness or other discoloration
  • A patchy, red skin rash
  • Thick, hard, “leathery” patches
  • Open, crusted, or “weepy-looking” sores
  • Redness or other discoloration
  • Thick, hard, “leathery” patches
  • A patchy, red skin rash
  • Open, crusted, or “weepy-looking” sores

ECZEMA MAY LOOK DIFFERENT ON DIFFERENT PEOPLE

ARM
LEGS
NECK
EYELID

Photos of mild-to-moderate eczema.

POSSIBLE EXTERNAL FACTORS

For some people, eczema may flare when they are exposed to different triggers, even if they are currently treating their eczema. Not everyone can identify a specific trigger. Share your eczema experiences with your doctor and work with them to identify your triggers and find a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Here are some common causes that could set off eczema in some people:

IRRITANTS

Soaps, detergents, sweat, wool, rough fabrics

ALLERGENS

Some types of food, dust mites, animal dander, pollens, molds

ENVIRONMENT

Temperature extremes, high or low humidity, tobacco smoke

There are lots of ways
to help treat your
eczema. Learn about
some treatment options.