Eczema (pronounced “EK-zema”), also known as atopic dermatitis, is one of the most common skin diseases in the United States. The condition affects nearly 9% of the overall U.S. population and 15% of children.
Eczema almost always begins in childhood, usually during infancy. Its symptoms are dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracks behind the ears, and rashes on the cheeks, arms, and legs. It alternately improves and worsens. It’s seldom present at birth, but it often comes on after six weeks. Eczema is a very itchy rash. Much of the skin damage comes from scratching and rubbing that cannot be controlled. Eczema is not contagious.
Contact dermatitis is a form of skin inflammation that occurs when compounds touching your skin cause irritation or an allergic reaction. The red, itchy rash isn’t contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable.
Skin contact with soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, or plants such as poison ivy or poison oak and some occupations involve exposure to substances that may cause contact dermatitis.
Diagnosis starts with a thorough medical history and exam. Patch testing will be recommended if contact dermatitis is suspected as the possible cause of the rash.
Yes! People with AD do not have to be limited by their disease. It can be controlled by prevention, medication, and careful adherence to a treatment program consisting of: skin hydration, itch control, inflammation control.