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This may not be the exact look of your condition. Please confirm your diagnosis with your dermatologist.

What is it?

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by inflammation, swelling or irritation of the skin. Eczema affects as many as 35 million Americans. Eczema is not dangerous, but it can cause significant discomfort, and occasionally leads to problems such as infection.

Symptoms?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults will develop eczema. Although eczema is most common in babies and children, it can also appear during puberty or throughout adulthood. Most of the infants who develop eczema are likely to outgrow it by their 10th birthday, though some eczema sufferers have lifelong symptoms.

Eczema can also be genetically influenced or inherited. Children with asthma or hay fever, or adults who develop asthma or hay fever before age 30 also seem to be more susceptible to eczema. Many adults experience eczema symptoms in times of stress.

Could this be what you have?

Eczema begins with itchiness in the area of the skin that will be visibly affected. Eczema is not contagious and may develop in any other area of the skin as well. It appears as dry, scaly, flaky or thickened skin that is reddish and may turn brown. Conversely, those people with darker skin may see the affected area become lighter in color. Eczema can be cyclical with intermittent flare-ups. Infants most often suffer from eczema on the face and scalp, although like adults, it may appear anywhere.

According to the National Eczema Organization, the most common symptoms of eczema are:

Dry, sensitive skin
Intense itching
Red, inflamed skin
Recurring rash
Scaly areas
Rough, leathery patches
Oozing or crusting
Areas of swelling
Dark-colored or light-colored patches of skin

Treatment Options @ Pinnacle

Though there is no cure for eczema, its effects can be controlled through diligent care. Treatment options include:

Bathing follow-up. After bathing, applying a moisturizer, or prescription topical medication on the affected area can help control eczema. In many cases, the most effective moisturizer or topical is available only by prescription after a visit to a dermatology provider.

Topical steroids. These are a common and effective relief option for eczema. Topical steroids help reduce inflammation, soothe the skin to prevent soreness, reduce itchiness and allow the affected area to heal.

Non-steroid drugs. Topical drugs that do not contain steroids are also available by prescription. 

Inject able and oral medication options exist for treatment of severe, chronic eczema.