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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.


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.

Dietary supplements for established atopic eczema in adults and children

Eczema is a skin condition characterised by an itchy, red rash, which affects 5% to 20% of people worldwide. There is no cure, but many treatments can help improve the skin's condition, making life easier. In those for whom these treatments do not work well or who fear their long‐term effects, there is often a belief that either something in their diet, or something missing in their diet, is making their eczema worse.

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).

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Summaries for consumers

What effect does diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding have on a child's risk of developing eczema?

There are no signs that not eating certain foods during pregnancy of while breastfeeding can influence the risk of eczema for the mother's child. So there is no reason to leave out foods such as eggs or milk as a precaution.

Probiotics for treating eczema

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

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

Studies have found weak evidence that probiotic dietary supplements can prevent children with a higher genetic risk from developing eczema. There has hardly been any research on prebiotic dietary supplements.

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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

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