Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation of the skin. It causes the skin to become red, itchy, dry and cracked. It can appear on any part of the body. People with eczema have a higher risk of developing allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever.
Having a family history of eczema is a risk factor. Other causes are overactive immune system, defects in the skin barrier, cold, dry climates, stress, contact with irritants, heat and sweat and dry skin.
Symptoms include itchy rash, painful, small fluid-filled blisters, yellowish to light brown crusts or pus-filled blisters.
Eczema can be treated by taking good care of the skin, using mild soaps and mosturizers, short warm showers and reduced stress. Medications such as hydrocortisone, antihistamines, ultraviolet light therapy, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and immunomodators can be used to treat eczema.