Eczema is a group of inflammatory skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which break out in rashes when scratched.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress.
Treatments focus on repair and maintenance of skin barrier, control of inflammation, reduction of allergen exposure and reducing itch. These are achieved by use of anti-histamines, barrier repair moisturizing creams (Such as CeraVe®), and prescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid ointments. For severe cases, drugs such as cyclosporine A or Imuran may be recommended.