Eczema is the most common inflammatory disease of the skin. Also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), this condition affects 15 million adults and children - 6% of all Americans. It nearly always begins within the first 5 years of life and while 50% of cases will be outgrown, the remainder will persist throughout a lifetime. The exact cause of the condition is not known, but genetic factors are thought to play a role in the development of this disease.
Persons with eczema often have allergies or asthma, as well. Various materials such as wool can cause a worsening of symptoms.
Eczema or AD appears as redness, scaling and/or small blisters (vesicles) on the head, face, neck, or the insides of the elbows, wrists, and knees. These characteristic features are often masked by secondary lesions such as crusting, excoriations, infection, or irritation from topical treatments. There are three stages of eczematous inflammation.
There is no cure for AD or eczema. Current therapy is directed at suppressing the inflammation and reducing triggering factors with topical treatments and ultraviolet light therapy.
The Medifocus Guide on Eczema provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of eczema?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing eczema?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of eczema?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of eczema?
What treatment options are available for the management of eczema?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in eczema?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for eczema?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about eczema?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Atopic dermatitis in infants and children. An update. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2000
The epidemiology and experience of atopic eczema during childhood: a discussion paper on the implications of current knowledge for health care, public health policy and research. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2000
Outcome measures of disease severity in atopic eczema. Archives of Dermatology. 2000
Atopic dermatitis. Primary Care; Clinics in Office Practice. 2000
Atopic dermatitis: new insights and opportunities for therapeutic intervention. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 2000
Maternal antigen avoidance during lactation for preventing atopic eczema in infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [computer file]. 2000
Managing atopic dermatitis in children and adults. Nurse Practitioner. 2000
Atopic dermatitis: from the genes to skin lesions. Allergy. 2000
Atopic dermatitis: unapproved treatments or indications. Clinics in Dermatology. 2000
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