Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation, also known as dermatitis. The term eczema is sometimes used interchangeably with atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.
Eczema is believed to result from a genetic defect that results in an abnormality of the skin's barrier function.
Eczema is most common in infants and young children. All races can be affected.
Triggers of eczema outbreaks can be environmental irritants or allergens; substances like soaps, perfumes, or chemicals; food allergies; lifestyle stress; or changes in temperature or humidity.
While eczema is not preventable, self-care measures such as frequent hydration of skin and avoidance of extreme temperatures and known irritants can help manage symptoms and reduce the severity of outbreaks.