Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation (Dermatitis). The most common form of Eczema is Atopic Dermatitis, however, there are many different forms of Eczema.
Eczema is a common problem in infants and children. It usually begins between two and six months of age with very dry and sensitive skin that will then become red and extremely itchy. It often starts on the forehead, cheeks and scalp and spreads to the trunk, creases of the elbows, knees, and wrists. With scratching the rash may become raw, crusted and weepy.
It is not yet known what causes it, but it does seem to run in families that have a history of asthma, allergies or Atopic Dermatitis. It is a chronic disease, but only about a third of children with infantile Atopic Dermatitis will continue to have problems with it as they get older.
There is no cure for this common condition. The main treatments are aimed at controlling and preventing inflammation and itching and include avoiding triggers, frequent bathing and hydrating of the skin, liberal use of moisturizers and lubricants, and the use of steroid creams for flare ups.
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