Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis



Eczema involves chronic inflammation that leaves the skin covered in scaly, itchy lesions. These lesions crack and damage the skin’s outer barrier, which makes it more sensitive and prone to infection.

Common Symptoms

Dry skin, severe itchiness, red or brownish-gray patches on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, face, scalp, and inside the bend of elbows/knees, small bumps, thickened or cracked skin, and damage from scratching.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Asthma, depression, and anxiety.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

Eczema tends to first develop in people before the age of 5 and typically persists for years after, manifesting in periodic flare-ups. Studies have found that having a family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever, or asthma can increase the risk of developing this condition. Environmental factors (such as cold, dry weather conditions, skin irritants, or allergies) can also trigger flare-ups. Females are believed to be at a higher risk. Additionally, African Americans are more at risk than other races.


  1. Article Sources and Footnotes
    1. Cleveland Clinic. (2020, October 28). Eczema (atopic dermatitis): Causes, treatment & symptoms. Cleveland Clinic.  

    2. National Eczema Association. (2020, August 27). Eczema-related conditions. National Eczema Association.

    3. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, June 12). Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Mayo Clinic.