Eczema causing the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. Some people have small patches, but for others it can be widespread across their body and be intensely itchy and painful. It is often minimised as ‘just a little bit of itchy skin’, but it can have a huge impact on a person’s life.
There is no cure for eczema and it is often a long-term (chronic) condition. Atopic eczema can often run in families and can develop alongside other atopic conditions such as asthma, hay fever and food allergies. Flare-ups’ of eczema can be unpredictable which can be intensely frustrating and upsetting for children and their carers.
It’s not caused by just one thing, it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
People with eczema often have very dry skin because their skin barrier (the top layer of the skin) isn’t working properly. When the skin barrier is faulty moisture can escape the skin causing it to become dry. When the skin becomes very dry irritants, allergens and bacteria can get into the skin causing inflammation and itching.