Eczema refers to a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. Symptoms vary somewhat but generally include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which develop into rashes when scratched. In many cases eczema appears along with allergies and asthma, indicating an overactive immune system. Some triggers for eczema flares include contact with rough or coarse materials, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, dust mites, animal saliva and dander, and stress.
RashesDifficult as it may be, a critical step in reducing eczema is to stop scratching. Moisturizers and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams can help with the dryness and inflammation that leads to scratching. Prescription treatment tends to include stronger corticosteroids (topical or injected), antibiotics to combat infection, and antihistamines to reduce itching.