Eczema is a chronic skin condition that affects 15 million Americans every year. People that suffer from this condition must stay out of the sun and swimming in a pool can be problematic if sensitivity to chlorine worsens the condition. The medical name for eczema is atopic dermatitis, which reflects the immunological nature of the condition.
This condition is more common with children and it typically develops in the first five years of life. According to the so-called hygiene hypothesis, exposure to infectious agents early in life offers protection against allergic diseases. Another indication is the fact that people with celiac disease (a gluten intolerance) are three times more likely to have eczema; relatives of celiac patients are twice as likely to have eczema.
Current treatment focuses on reducing inflammation, loss of moisture and colonization by bacteria. Doctors typically recommend a prescription steroid, used topically in tiny amounts, coupled with an over-the-counter moisturizer applied generously right after showering to hold water in the skin.
Picture by www.eczemadailycare.ca