Eczema is a sad reality for over 30 million Americans.1 The condition causes a person’s skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed, often leading to discomfort and even pain. It’s caused by a genetic issue that affects the skin’s ability to hold moisture, leaving it unprotected against bacteria, irritants, and allergens. Eczema is not only bothersome and embarrassing for some, it often exists with other comorbid conditions like depression and infections.
While eczema often occurs in very young children—up to 20 percent of infants have it, according to the National Institutes of Health—about half outgrow it or it improves as they age. Adults get eczema, too, and the complex condition is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma and allergies.2
There are various types of eczema and degrees of severity, so it’s important to discuss symptoms with a dermatologist to determine exactly the type you have. Since it can be a mysterious and confusing condition, find out how much you know about eczema, and what resources and treatments are available to help sufferers.
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Check out 5 ways to soothe your winter skin
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