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Eczema, its medical name being dermatitis, doesn’t actually refer to a single medical condition. Instead it is a general term referring to a group of skin problems, the most common of which is atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. These atopic diseases have a tendency to develop into allergic conditions, like asthma and hay fever.

There is no definite cause of eczema, but studies suggest that it is linked to the immune system producing an overactive response to any irritant. People from families that have a medical history of asthma and other allergies are also more prone to acquiring eczema. For the most part, eczema is a disease that is triggered by certain substances coming into contact with one’s skin.

Eczema, which is basically an inflammation of the skin, commonly affects the face, the wrists, the hands, the backs of the knees, and the feet. Eczema makes the skin very dry. It also causes the skin to thicken and become itchy, later developing rashes. In infants, there is a possibility that these rashes will ooze and crust. In people with fair complexion, it makes the skin appear reddish. On the other hand, in people with darker complexion, eczema affects pigmentation and can make the skin look either lighter or darker.

The easiest way to treat eczema is to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized using products like Alpha Keri, Cetaphil, Dermasoft, and Egoderm. One can also take vitamin E in capsule form, by using Ethical Nutrients. If one experiences itchiness, they can use cold compresses to relieve themselves. One can also buy prescription creams and ointments, particularly those containing corticosteroids, which work by lessening inflammation of the skin. There is a possibility the afflicted area may become infected, in which case one should use antibiotics to kill the bacteria.