Eczema Facts

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a hereditary and chronic skin disorder that causes the skin to itch, turn red, and flake. Learn more ›

Eczema in Kids: Annoying, but Treatable

A scaly, red, itchy, dry rash can show up in the first weeks of life. It signals a vexing but treatable skin problem called atopic dermatitis (AD), often known as eczema. The main symptom of AD is itching. When the child chronically scratches or rubs the area, this can lead to inflamed, rough, thickened skin. Skin areas affected by AD can become red and oozing. In younger children, the rash usually occurs on the face, scalp and on the outer areas of the arms and legs. In older children, the rash appears in the creases of the elbows, knees and wrists.

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Eczema: A Young Woman’s Story

Until recently, I'd never heard the word “excoriation,” but now I know it was my primary symptom: “scratching so severe as to tear the flesh.” That's what I did every night, clawing until blood flowed. I was shocked to read that neurotic excoriation is caused by emotional difficulties 98 percent of the time. I was taken to doctor after doctor from 1957 to 1971, but this was never mentioned; no one acknowledged that I had emotional problems. Perhaps my parents thought the problems would go away if they pretended they weren't there. Maybe they were ashamed to admit their daughter might have such problems.

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Dry Skin

Dry skin is a very common skin condition, usually characterized by irritated skin and itchiness. Dry skin often worsens in the winter, when the air is cold and dry. In addition, frequent bathing can aggravate dry skin. Dry skin may become flaky or scaly. However, dry skin symptoms may resemble other skin conditions or result from other disorders such as an underactive thyroid or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

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Your Guide to Eczema


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