Eczema is a type of inflammation of the skin, which may become red, flaky or swollen and develop bumps, blisters and cracks. Eczema itches.
More and more people are developing eczema, and around one in five schoolchildren in many European countries now have it. Eczema that occurs during childhood is often known as atopic eczema. If you had eczema when you were little, you are at greater risk of developing allergies and asthma later in life.
Why do people get eczema?
- Eczema can be hereditary, for example you may have delicate skin.
- Some substances are allergens, such as nickel, make-up, perfume, preservatives and shampoo.
- Substances that irritate the skin - such as water, soap, detergents, solvents, oils and some foods - damage the skin's normal protective function. This can lead to eczema and contact allergy.
Atopic eczema, hand eczema
What's the difference between the various types of eczema and how do they all fit together?
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What can I do to protect myself?
The following will give you some ideas on how to prevent and alleviate eczema.
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