Eczema: An Introduction to This Chronic Skin Disorder


Story at-a-glance

  • There are many conditions that can affect your skin health such as eczema, a disorder that makes your skin red, itchy and scaly
  • There is no cure for eczema, but there are ways to manage the symptoms

Did you know that the skin is the largest and fastest-growing organ in the body?1 It holds fluids in, keeps harmful microbes out and balances your body temperature, and even plays a crucial role in vitamin D production from sun exposure.2 There is no doubt that it is one of your body's most important organs.

Unfortunately, there are many conditions that can affect your skin health. One example is eczema, a disorder that makes your skin red, itchy and scaly.3 What's interesting is that it is more common today than it has ever been before. Scientists believe this is due to a direct connection between a parent's health conditions in this specific area and their child's.4

Eczema usually appears in the first 6 months up to 5 years of a child's life. Infants typically develop it on their face, often affecting the cheeks and chin. Yet, it can appear on any part of the body and the symptoms may differ from one child to another. In most cases, the symptoms will go away as a child grows older, but some children will continue to suffer from it into adulthood. However, adults can also develop this condition suddenly.5

If you think that you or your child has eczema, you are not alone. More than 30 million Americans have this skin disorder, according to the National Eczema Association,6 and at least 17.8 million of them are suffering from moderate to severe eczema.7

You Can Treat Eczema Naturally

Eczema is a resilient skin disorder, typically getting worse the longer you have it. There is no cure for it, but there are ways to manage the symptoms.8

Conventional methods generally involve the use of topical steroids, but be warned that these drugs can cause a variety of side effects such as thinning of the skin, discolorations and unwanted hair growth. Certain topical steroids can even reach your bloodstream, causing adverse effects (especially on children).9

This is why effective natural treatment methods that don't have potential adverse effects are recommended. For instance, a research published in the British Journal of Dermatology indicates that a diet rich in omega-3 fats can help people with eczema, reducing the severity of their symptoms.10 More detailed information on alternative therapies will be covered in the treatment page.

The Condition Comes in Different Forms

You should remember that treating eczema depends on the particular type and how severe it is. The most common type is atopic dermatitis, a chronic and inflammatory condition. Its cause is still unknown, but it occurs when your immune system goes into overdrive.11 The other common types are contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema and neurodermatitis.

Learn about the different types of eczema, its causes, symptoms and the best treatment options for this condition. Discover how you can control your symptoms through a special diet. Through these articles, you will discover all the essential information you need to treat and manage this skin disorder.


Eczema: Introduction

What Is Eczema?

Eczema Types

Eczema in Children

Eczema Causes

Eczema Symptoms

Is Eczema Contagious?

Eczema vs Psoriasis

Eczema Treatment

How to Get Rid of Eczema

Eczema Diet

Next >

What Is Eczema?

[+]Sources and References [-]Sources and References

  • 1 American Academy of Dermatology About skin
  • 2 MedlinePlus Skin Conditions
  • 3 Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • 4 5 Interesting Facts About Eczema
  • 5 National Eczema Association Understanding your infant or toddler’s eczema
  • 6, 8 National Eczema Association Eczema
  • 7 National Eczema Association Eczema Prevalence in the United States
  • 9 Patient Topical Steroids for Eczema
  • 10 The Telegraph March 27, 2008
  • 11 National Eczema Association Types of Eczema