What is Eczema?
Eczema, or Atopic Dermatitis, is a common chronic skin disease that causes patches of the skin to itch. Individuals suffering from eczema may also notice dryness and a red colouration in the affected areas.
Living With Eczema
In general, eczema flares will come and go; often a result of changes in the environment.
Eczema is not contagious, and like many diseases, cannot be cured. However, for most patients, the condition is manageable through treatment, education and avoidance of specific triggers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Common is Atopic Dermatitis and Can My Child Outgrow It?
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of all infants have eczema. However, many infants with atopic dermatitis improve by age 2, and about 40 to 50 percent of patients outgrow the disorder by the time they are young adults.
Is my Child At Risk For Other Diseases Due To Their Atopic Dermatitis?
Patients with eczema often develop other allergic diseases. About 2/3 of the patients with atopic dermatitis will have allergic rhinitis (hay fever), while nearly half of children with eczema can develop asthma later in life.
How Can Atopic Dermatitis Be Treated?
Scratching or rubbing the skin can actually worsen the itch and rash caused by eczema. Scratching causes further irritation, itching and injures the skin.
This is called the itch-scratch cycle. Emphasizing behaviour modification (especially in older children) by teaching your child to apply cold compresses to the itch, instead of scratching, can be helpful.
For additional useful tips on living with Eczema, please visit the Patient Resources page for a downloadable PDF.