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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is eczema?

Eczema is an itchy, red, scaly skin rash. You are more likely to have it if a family member has eczema, asthma, or hay fever. Eczema is a long-term condition that often begins in childhood. You may have flare-ups from time to time for the rest of your life.


What are the signs and symptoms of eczema?

What triggers eczema?

Anything that increases dryness or makes you want to scratch is a trigger. Triggers may cause eczema to flare up. The following are common triggers:

How is eczema diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your skin and ask if you know what triggers your rash. Tell the provider if you have tried any treatments that have helped. Your provider may want to know if anyone in your family has allergies, asthma, or eczema. Your provider may test you for allergies to find out if they trigger your eczema. A skin biopsy may confirm the diagnosis.

How is eczema treated?

The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and itching and add moisture to your skin. This helps repair your skin barrier. The skin barrier is the outer layer of your skin. It protects your skin from outside conditions and helps prevent water loss from your body. Your symptoms should improve within several weeks of treatment. You may need the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I care for my skin?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.