Eczema, also called dermatitis, is an irritation mainly caused by allergies. Symptoms of eczema include inflammation of the skin, itchiness, the appearance of blisters, scaling and thickening of the skin. Eczema typically appears on face, elbows, knees and arms, but hands and feet also common areas where eczema can flare up.

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Eczema is distinguished by its various types - including allergic contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, infantile seborrhoeic eczema (also known as cradle cap), adult seborrhoeic dermatitis, varicose eczema and discoid eczema. Eczema can be treated with prescribed cortisone cream in combination with lotions or immunomodulators (medications that increases the body's immune response).

Moisturizing the skin is a must for people with eczema. Additional treatments include light therapy; which makes use of ultraviolet lights such as PUVA, UVB and Narrow Band UVB. Chinese herbal medicine has also been used to effectively treat eczema.

To prevent eczema from getting worse take shorter and less frequent baths and showers. Also avoid directly washing the affected areas. Harsh soaps, detergents, cleaners and lotions should also be avoided. It's also beneficial to keep the skin cool and dry by wearing loose fitting cotton materials. The worse thing you can do is scratch your eczema when it feels itchy. Scratching affected areas will damage your skin and aggravate eczema further.

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