Eczema, often referred to as Atopic Dermatitis, is a form of chronic inflammation of the skin. The term Eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and may enlarge the rash.
Eczema may affect any area of your skin, but it typically appears on the arms and behind the knees. It tends to flare periodically and then subside. The cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but it may result from a combination of inherited tendencies for sensitive skin and a malfunction in the body’s immune system.