Eczema refers to a group of conditions characterized by dry, inflamed, and itchy skin. The most common kind of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Other forms of eczema include contact dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema. The term eczema is often used by people to refer to any of these conditions.
Topical steroids may treat the inflamed skin and help alleviate itch. Antihistamines, immune suppressant creams, topical anesthetics and antibiotics may help and be recommended and/or prescribed. It is important not to scratch because scratching causes nerve endings to be further irritated, in turn, increasing the itch. Moisturizers should be used to help prevent flare-ups and to help maintain the skin’s natural hydration, and barrier that is impaired by the eczema.