Atopic Dermatitis

About Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema is a term for several different types of skin swelling. Eczema is also called dermatitis. Most types cause dry, itchy skin and rashes on the face, inside the elbows and behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. Scratching the skin can cause it to turn red and to swell and itch even more.

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Over time, atopic dermatitis may get better or go away, but sometimes the skin may stay dry and continue to be easily irritated.

Eczema is not contagious. The cause is not known but is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Eczema may get better or worse over time, but it is often a long-lasting disease. People who have it may also develop hay fever and asthma.

You can prevent some types of eczema by avoiding things that irritate your skin, such as certain soaps, fabrics, and lotions; stress; and things you are allergic to, such as food, pollen, and animals. Treatments may include skin creams, light therapy, good skin care, or medication.