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Eczema

The word “eczema” has two meanings. It can mean either of the following:

  • A group of conditions that causes inflamed, irritated, and often itchy skin
  • Any one of the conditions within this group, such as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, or stasis dermatitis.

Here you’ll find information about different types of eczema. The AAD provides this dermatologist-reviewed information to help you better understand and manage the type of eczema you have. You’ll also find out when it can be helpful to see a board-certified dermatologist.

Eczema is usually itchy. For many people, the itch can range from mild to moderate. But in some cases, it can become much worse and you might develop extremely inflamed skin.

  • Itch
  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Inflamed, discolored skin
  • Rough, leathery or scaly patches of skin
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling

Atopic dermatitis
What is atopic dermatitis? Often called eczema or atopic eczema, this is a condition that usually develops by 5 years of age and causes extremely itchy rashes that come and go.
Is atopic dermatitis contagious? No.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is common worldwide. People of all ages from newborns to adults 65 years of age and older live with this condition. Symptoms range from excessively dry, itchy skin to painful, itchy rashes that cause sleepless nights and interfere with everyday life.

Contact dermatitis
When something that touches your skin either irritates it or causes an allergic skin reaction, you develop this skin disease. The first sign is often itchy skin, followed by a rash. You may also see blisters.
Contact dermatitis is not contagious, so you cannot give it to anyone else.
Because so many things can irritate our skin or cause an allergic skin reaction, contact dermatitis sends many people to see a dermatologist.

Dyshidrotic eczema
This type of eczema causes tiny, intensely itchy blisters on the hands or feet. It is also called pompholyx.
The blisters of dyshidrotic eczema may last for three to four weeks before clearing. Some people never develop blisters again. Dyshidrotic eczema can also be a lifelong, debilitating disease.
For most people, having dyshidrotic eczema falls somewhere in between having it once and living with a chronic, debilitating condition.
With a dermatologist’s help, many people discover what triggers their blisters. Avoiding what triggers the blisters helps to reduce flare-ups.

Hand eczema
Is the skin on your hands dry, thick, and scaly? Do you have deep, painful cracks on your hands that bleed? You may have more than dry skin. Hand eczema could be the culprit. Because it often looks like dry skin, hand eczema can easily be mistaken for dry skin. Unlike dry skin, you need more than a good moisturizer to get rid of hand eczema.

Neurodermatitis
It can clear completely with the right treatment. However, finding what works for you can take time. Neurodermatitis can develop along with another skin condition, like eczema or psoriasis. For this reason, it is best to see the medical doctor who has in-depth training and experience in diagnosing skin conditions. Effective treatment requires an accurate diagnosis of all of your skin conditions.

Nummular eczema
With the right treatment, many people see this eczema go away. Dermatologists often diagnose nummular dermatitis by looking at the patient’s skin. During the exam, the dermatologist may swab the sores if the doctor thinks you have a skin infection. If your dermatologist thinks you have an allergy, patch testing (skin tests to find allergies) may be recommended. Your dermatologist also may recommend patch testing if treatment does not fully clear your skin. An allergy can prevent the skin from clearing.

Stasis dermatitis
Self-care is essential for getting this eczema under control. If you have stasis dermatitis, a treatment plan along with self-care can get the disease under control and prevent it from worsening. Here are the healthy habits that dermatologists recommend for their patients who have stasis dermatitis.