Is Eczema Contagious? Eczema Myths Debunked

Eczema Skin Texture

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  • Eczema is not contagious like the flu or a cold, but it is often inherited or passed through genes
  • If you are wondering if eating specific foods causes eczema or if the skin disorder is contagious, it is time to clear up those myths once and for all

Although eczema is very common, many misconceptions about it still persist. One reason is that it can be confused with other skin ailments like hives, scabies, food allergy and psoriasis, especially when you are still not familiar with its symptoms and triggers. If you are wondering if eating specific foods  causes eczema or if the skin disorder is contagious, it is time to clear up those myths once and for all.

Myth: Eczema is contagious.

Fact: Not at all. It cannot spread from person to person.

Eczema is not contagious like the flu or a cold, but it is often inherited or passed through genes. According to Patient, the most common type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, occurs in about 8 in 10 children when both parents have the condition, and in about 6 in 10 children when one parent has the condition.1

Moreover, children born into families with a history of allergic diseases, such as hay fever or asthma, are at an increased risk for developing eczema. This ailment is considered to be part of the “atopic march,” which involves the diagnosis of eczema, food allergy, allergic rhinitis and asthma, typically in that sequential order.2

Myth: Eczema symptoms are the same.

Fact: Symptoms vary from person to person.

Your eczema may not look the same on another adult, or on your child. It’s also possible that you may have all the usual symptoms or only a few. In addition, the rashes associated with this condition may appear in different parts of your body at different times.3 The common symptoms of eczema include:4

Dry, raw and sensitive skin

Red, inflamed skin

Itchiness

Areas of swelling

Dark-colored, scaly patches of skin

Leathery texture of skin

Oozing or crusting

Myth: Eczema is a superficial skin problem.

Fact: Eczema can be mild or severe, and it has dozens of different types.

Eczema is an umbrella term for skin that is red, itchy and irritated. While the different types of eczema look similar at first glance, they are not entirely the same. Nonetheless, the rashes that accompany this condition can worsen to the point that you could develop extremely inflamed skin. Sometimes, the itch becomes so bad that people scratch until they bleed, which is called the “itch-scratch cycle.”5

Myth: Eczema is directly caused by food allergies.

Fact: Certain foods, such as dairy, eggs, wheat and peanuts can trigger eczema, but this only suggests correlation between food allergies and eczema, not causation.6

Removal of foods that may cause a flare-up can sometimes result in significant improvement of your condition, but this will not cure your eczema.7

Myth: Eczema can be cured.

Fact: Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema.

In most cases, eczema is manageable, and can go away for months or even several years, but there is a possibility for recurrence. One day your skin may be fine, and the next, you may experience a flare-up of red, sore and dry rash that is extremely itchy. This is why dealing with your “triggers” is crucial if you have this condition.8

MORE ABOUT ECZEMA

Eczema: Introduction

What Is Eczema?

Eczema Types

Eczema in Children

Eczema Causes

Eczema Symptoms

Is Eczema Contagious?

Eczema Versus Psoriasis

Eczema Treatment

How to Get Rid of Eczema

Eczema Diet

Eczema FAQ

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