Home > Health A – Z > Eczema

Eczema

A group of conditions in which the skin becomes inflamed, forms blisters, and becomes crusty, thick, and scaly. Eczema causes burning and itching, and may occur over a long period of time.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Eczema

Skin rash and severe itching are typical symptoms of eczema. This inflammatory skin condition is common in children. It often gets better over time and it may also go away for a while or altogether. The acute symptoms of eczema can really affect your quality of life. Itching in particular might be very unpleasant, affecting your sleep and ability to concentrate. Some people who have eczema feel "uncomfortable in their own skin" and feel embarrassed when they have a rash that others can see. But regular skin care, medication and other steps can relieve the symptoms and keep them from affecting people's daily life too much.

Symptoms

Eczema causes both acute and chronic symptoms. The acute symptoms include red and itchy skin, and sometimes weeping blisters. In the long term it can become dry and cracked, and also thicken... Read more about Eczema

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Probiotics for treating eczema

There is not enough evidence to recommend using probiotics for the treatment of eczema.

Interventions to reduce Staphylococcus aureus in the management of atopic eczema

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis or childhood eczema) is a big problem worldwide. The skin of people with atopic eczema often contains high numbers of a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).

Topical pimecrolimus for eczema

This review of clinical trials aimed to find out whether topical pimecrolimus is better than topical corticosteroids or tacrolimus for treating eczema in infants, children and adults by assessing the improvement of eczema and adverse events associated with treatments.

See all (131)

Summaries for consumers

Eczema in children: Can prebiotics or probiotics help prevent it?

Probiotic supplements for pregnant women and babies can prevent the development of eczema in some children. Probiotics have been better researched than prebiotics.

Eczema: Can eliminating particular foods help?

There is no proof that elimination diets can reduce eczema in babies or children who do not have established food allergies. There has been very little research on elimination diets in adults with eczema.

Probiotics for treating eczema

There is not enough evidence to recommend using probiotics for the treatment of eczema.

See all (38)

More about Eczema

Photo of an adult woman

See Also: Atopic Dermatitis

Other terms to know:
Inflammation, Rash, Skin

Related articles:
How the Immune System Works

Keep up with systematic reviews on Eczema:

Create RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...