Eczema - Marlene J. Mash, MD

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Eczema

Medical Dermatology
Eczema affects many people, and the symptoms may continue throughout life. The most common type is an 'atopic dermatitis,' or 'atopic eczema.' Treatment by a dermatologist is usually necessary to control eczema.

Affecting about 10%-20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S., eczema symptoms include itching and rash. Sometimes the itching will start before the rash appears, but when it does, the rash most commonly appears on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet.  Other areas can also be affected.

Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly. In fair-skinned people, these areas may initially appear reddish and then turn brown. Among darker-skinned people, eczema can affect pigmentation, making the affected area lighter or darker. In infants, the itchy rash can produce an oozing, crusting condition that happens mainly on the face and scalp, but patches may appear anywhere.

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