Conditions : Medical Dermatology
Eczema, also called "atopic dermatitis" when it begins in childhood, manifests as scaly, dry, red patches. It may be caused by a breakdown of the skin’s barrier cells or by immune dysfunction resulting in IgE sensitization. It is not contagious, but it can worsen with very dry winter weather, drying heat in homes, long hot showers, fragrances, oils, animal hair, wool and synthetic fabrics, cigarette smoke and environmental irritants. Eczema is treated with emolliation (moisturization), topical prescription creams, humidifying the environment and oral medications (antihistamines) to reduce itching and scratching.