If you have dry skin and rough, red patches that itch, you may have a skin problem called eczema.Eczema is a very broad term. It includes many different skin problems such as atopic eczema, seborrheic eczema and stasis eczema. In most occasions talking about eczema people are referring to atopic dermatitis. Atopic eczema commonly occurs in young people and is usually found inside the elbows, on the face, wrists, ankles, hands, or backs of the knees.
A number of things can irritate the skin and cause dermatitis. In infants, food may trigger eczema, but after age one it's much less likely that food causes the problem. People who have family history of similar skin problems or respiratory allergies are more likely to get eczema. Emotional stress is another important factor. If you're under a great deal of pressure and don't get enough sleep, the skin condition can worsen.
Because the causes of dermatitis are sometimes difficult to pinpoint, a doctor may prescribe various treatments. For a baby, a change of diet might be the first treatment. It is important to keep the skin lubricated with creams or lotions. If neither of these treatments work, there are a number of topical medications that can help, depending upon the type of eczema, the age of the patient and the part of the body affected. In rare cases when the problem is severe, a patient may be hospitalized.
If you think you might have some type of eczema, consult your physician or a dermatologist.
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