Eczema (affecting roughly 3% of the U.S. population) is a term used to describe certain kinds of skin conditions characterized by itchy, red skin.
It often manifests itself as itchy, red skin, but can also include blisters, oozing, scaly, brownish, or thickened skin.
Eczema can occur at any age, but is most common in infants to young adults. It most often affects:
- Bends of the elbows
- Backs of the knees
- Feet and ankles
- Hands and wrists
- Face and neck
- Upper chest
The exact cause of eczema is not known. People with other allergies like hay fever are more prone to having eczema, and it can be hereditary. External factors such as sweating, temperature extremes, and different seasons can also trigger eczema.
Treatment options vary by your exact condition, and include:
- Steroid creams and ointments
- Immune modifying creams
- Antihistamines (to alleviate itching)