What is Eczema?

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes patches of skin to become inflamed, itchy, and rough. It is the most common and persistent type of eczema.

Other types of eczema include:

Allergic contact dermatitis:

This type of skin condition occurs as a reaction to contact with an allergen or other irritant.

Dyshidrotic eczema:

This type of eczema refers to skin irritation on the palm of the hands, and the soles of the feet. Often resulting in blisters, or itchy, flaky, painful patches.


Often resulting from insect bites, this type refers to irritated patches of skin on the head, forearms, wrists, and lower legs.

Nummular eczema:

Also called “discoid eczema”, this type of eczema results in circular patches of irritated skin. The skin is often crusty, scaly, or itchy.

Stasis dermatitis:

Usually caused by circulation problems, it results in patches of irritated skin on the lower legs.


Symptoms and location of the eczema depend on the type, but many types share similar symptoms. Common eczema symptoms include:

  • Patches of irritated skin
  • Dry or scaly skin
  • Red skin
  • Itching or painful skin
  • Open or crusted sores


It is unknown what causes eczema, but it is most likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

If eczema runs in the family, someone is more likely to develop it; and certain allergens and irritants can cause eczema symptoms.

Is it curable?

There is currently no cure for eczema. That being said, treatment options available to relieve and manage symptoms and flare ups.


Treatment options range from a variety of over-the-counter, and prescription medications, and can take the form of oral medications or creams and ointments.

Speak to a doctor to determine what kind of eczema you have, and the best course of action to take.

When to See a Medical Doctor

If you suffer from recurring, persistent, or severe eczema symptoms, a doctor will be your best source of guidance. A medical professional can accurately diagnose the skin condition, rule out more serious causes of skin irritation, and recommend the best treatment option for symptom relief.