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What is eczema?

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There are two types of eczema. The viral eczema, which is contagious, and the allergic eczema, which results from allergies to foods or surroundings; which is not contagious.

My daughter was diagnosed with the non-viral allergic type when she was 6 months old. I was told to change her soap, which I did and improved the disease but did not remove it. Baby shampoo seemed to improve the allergic reactions, and soap bars always worsen it. She is now 12 and still has very sensitive skin and is allergic to a great number of things. She also experiences sneezing around animals. She gets really sick around our cat so we tell her to not pick her up, or get too close to the cat.


Eczema is a disease in a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis. The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed lesions, although scarring up is rare. In contagcontrast to psoriasis, eczema is often likely to be found on the flexor aspect of joints.

Epidemiology Edit

The lifetime clinician-recorded prevalence of eczema has been seen to peak in infancy, with female predominance of eczema presentations occurring during the reproductive period of 15–49 years. Although little data on the trend of eczema prevalence over time exists prior to the Second World War (1939–45), the prevalence of eczema has been found to have increased substantially in the latter half of the 20th Century, with increases in eczema in school-aged children being found to increase between the late 1940’s and 2000. A review of epidemiological data in the UK has also found an inexorable rise in the prevalence of eczema over time. Further recent increases in the incidence and lifetime prevalence of eczema in England have also been reported, such that an estimated 5,773,700 or about one in every nine people have been diagnosed with the disease by a clinician at some point in their lives.

Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Eczema article (authors)

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