Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term (chronic) condition in most people, although it can improve over time, especially in children.
Eczema can be broadly divided into ‘allergic’ or ‘atopic’ eczema, where the eczema is associated with allergies or ‘non-allergic’ or ‘non-atopic’ where it isn’t.
Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children, but can also affect adults.
It is well recognised that allergies can play a significant role in the worsening of eczema, especially in children and identification and exclusion of food or environmental allergens can help improve eczema and reduce the need for conventional treatments such as steroid creams.
Atopic eczema causes areas of skin to become itchy, dry, cracked, sore and red.
There will usually be periods where the symptoms improve, followed by periods where they get worse (flare-ups).
Atopic eczema can occur all over the body, but is most common on the hands (especially fingers), the insides of the elbows or backs of the knees, and the face and scalp in children
There are broadly two components to treatment – emollients to help with the dryness of eczema and anti-inflammatory creams and ointments to calm down the inflammatory components.