Eczema (eg-zuh-MUH)

What it eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that is also referred to as atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the name for a group of chronic, pruritic (itchy), inflammatory skin conditions. 

  • There are several types of eczema including: Atopic dermatitis, Contact dermatitis, Dyshidrotic eczema, Nummular eczema, Seborrhetic dermatitis, and Stasis dermatitis. 
  • The terms "dermatitis" and "eczema" are often used interchangeably. 
  • When the term "eczema" is used it is often referring to atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema). 
  • The term "eczematous" also refers to a skin condition characterized by crusting, serous (thin yellowish/pinkish/reddish fluid that may include blood) oozing, or blister formation. 
  • IT IS NOT CONTAGIOUS. Though there is no proven explanation for why some develop eczema while others don't, there has been evidence showing it can be hereditary. 
  • Though there are several distinct variations, it is possible to be affected by more than one type at the same time. 

Nature's Prescription Tip:

Skin hydration is a key component of basic management of eczema and its symptoms. Lotions and creams with a high water and low oil  content can worsen xerosis (dry, rough, cracking, scaly skin) due to the water evaporating. Thick creams/butters that have a low to no water content better protect against xerosis. To maintain skin hydration emollients (ingredients that soften the skin) should be applied routinely 2-3 times per day as needed, or especially following baths.