Eczema is a general term for several types of inflamation of the outer layer of skin. The most common type is called Atopic Dermatitis. Atopic - meaning allergic, and Dermatitis - meaning inflamation of the skin.
It appears as a red, scaly, flaky, and sometimes oozing rash which is most commonly seen in children, but can also affect adults.
Although eczema can be a chronic condition, reoccuring throughout an individual's life, children frequently get better as they get older.
What Causes Eczema?
We have discovered many eczema triggers, but we still don’t know what causes it.
Some theories include:
- Genetics: skin barrier problems (“leaky skin”) and the immune system being over-reactive, for example
- Environment: certain chemicals and allergens may contribute to developing eczema
- Hygiene hypothesis: being too clean and not having proper bacteria on the skin may also contribute
Although family history can play a role, it’s important to remember that you did not cause your child’s eczema.