Eczema is a very common skin condition, especially amongst young children. Most cases of eczema in children are diagnosed as atopic eczema, while adults may be more likely to suffer from discoid eczema; atopic eczema is usually caused by allergens but the cause of discoid eczema remains unknown.


  • Dust
  • Animal hair
  • Pollen
  • Certain foods (including dairy products, eggs and wheat)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress and depression
  • Seasonal changes
  • Insect bites

Symptoms of eczema

Atopic eczema is usually characterised by patches of dry, itchy skin that are commonly located in the creases of the joints (such as the elbows and knees). Discoid eczema is usually characterised by oval patches of very small red spots and blisters; these are usually located on the hands, forearms and legs.

Treatment for eczema

Mild forms of atopic eczema usually clear up quickly with emollient creams; it is also beneficial to keep the skin moist and avoid any triggers. More severe forms of atopic asthma may be treated with more potent medications; these will usually be prescribed by a dermatologist. Discoid eczema is more difficult to treat than atopic eczema and usually requires stronger medication; this may include steroid creams, emollients and in severe cases, treatments such as wet wraps, occlusion bandages or light therapy. Some people also try complementary therapies.

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