Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some frequently asked questions that may help you as you manage your eczema.
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is a skin condition in which patches of skin become irritated and inflamed. In most cases, it appears before the age of six months, and it improves before adolescence in 80% of cases.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY ECZEMA?
Eczema affects as many as 15 million Americans. It may occur in both children and adults, but it is most frequent in very young children. Eczema affects males and females equally. It is more common in people with asthma and allergies, and those with a family history of asthma and allergies.
WHO GETS ECZEMA?
After the age of seven, about 80% of children see their eczema mostly disappear, though skin irritations can persist throughout their life. In some cases, stressful events or conflicts during adolescence may cause eczema to reappear.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF ECZEMA?
The most frequent symptom of eczema is dry, red, itchy and/or irritated patches of skin.
WHERE DOES ECZEMA USUALLY APPEAR?
Eczema symptoms depend on how old you are. In infants, red, itchy patches tend to appear on the most exposed areas such as the cheeks, forehead and chin. In children, they appear predominantly at the elbows, behind the knees, on the upper side of the feet, and on the hands, torso or neck. In adults, mostly the face, neck and hands are affected.
WHAT IS A TRIGGER?
A trigger is something that causes symptoms to appear. These may include irritating clothing (e.g. wool), sweat, soap, and detergents (such as laundry detergent). Factors in the environment such as smoke and pollen also sometimes trigger eczema. Certain foods such as nuts and dairy may also be triggers.
IS ECZEMA CONTAGIOUS?
Eczema is not contagious.
IS THERE A CURE FOR ECZEMA?
At this time there isn’t a cure for eczema. However, effective treatment and consistent skin care can help control symptoms. Your doctor will work with you to find the best possible treatment for your needs.
REFERENCES AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
- Atopic Dermatitis Foundation. Frequently Asked Questions. Available at:
- Cleveland Clinic. Eczema: Frequently Asked Questions. Available at:
This site is NOT considered medical advice. It contains general information about eczema, and patients must not rely on the information as an alternative to advice from their healthcare provider. Patients should never delay seeking medical advice, discontinue medical treatment, or disregard medical advice based on the information on this site.