Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a very common red, dry, scaly and itchy skin condition that can occur at any time. It can be associated with other atopic conditions such as hay fever, asthma and food allergies. There is often a family history of similar conditions suggesting a strong genetic link, mostly within a gene called filaggrin.
The condition often affects the creases of the elbows and knees, but can also affect the face and be more widespread. There are many different variants and presentations of eczema depending on one’s skin type and ethnicity as well as other factors such as superimposed infections.
Eczema can sometimes be a chronic problem and management relies on regular moisturising and maintaining a good, gentle skin care regimen including avoiding irritants such as soaps and hot water. Most children with mild eczema improve with age. Topical cortisone ointments need to be used liberally until the eczema clears up, and any secondary infections of the skin should always be managed early. More specific treatments are often required for the face, especially if the eyelids are affected. Phototherapy can often be an additional management option that can help settle eczema. Tablets that can modify the immune response are utilised in more severe cases.
Note: We are unable to use the names specific medications due to strict regulations by the medical board. Information presented here is for reference only and should not be regarded as medical advice. Should you wish to receive specific advice, please see your GP or dermatologist.