Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation of the skin.
Typically, eczema causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry — even cracked and leathery. Eczema can appear on any part of the body.
Eczema is a chronic problem for many people.
It is most common in infants, many of whom outgrow it before adulthood.
People with eczema have a higher risk of developing allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever.
What Causes Eczema?
Eczema runs in families. Certain genes can cause some people to have extra-sensitive skin. An overactive immune system is thought to be a factor, as well. Also, it’s thought that defects in the skin barrier contribute to eczema. These defects can allow moisture out through the skin and let germs in.
Factors that may trigger eczema include:
- Contact with irritating substances such as woolen and synthetic fabrics and soap
- Heat and sweat
- Cold, dry climates
- Dry skin