Eczema is one of the most bothersome and chronic disorders of the skin. Also known by the term 'atopic dermatitis', eczema is more prevalent in infants and children.  

Contact eczema is the type commonly observed in adults, while atopic eczema is more prevalent in children. The arms, and the region behind the knees, are the commonly affected sites. However, any part of the body may be affected.

6 FAQs About Eczema

1. What are the types of eczema?

There are many types of eczema some of which are:

  • Atopic Eczema. This is the most common of all types and is also known as infantile eczema. It generally affects people who are extremely sensitive to allergens in their environments such as pollen, dust, animal skin or hair, and certain foods.
    Your skin may become extremely itchy and red patches can develop on the skin that may sometimes swell, and develop into fissures (a break or slit in tissue usually at the junction of skin), that may crack and ooze out clear fluid or even blood. 

  • Hand Eczema. A chronic form of eczema that only infects the hand and is also known as hyperlinear palms. It is caused due to constant hand washing with harsh soaps, detergents, or contact with strong chemicals like bleach, etc. You may develop shiny red blisters (a small painful area of skin that looks like a bubble filled with fluid) and lesions (any damage or abnormal change in the skin) that are quite painful.  
    If you have hand eczema, it becomes difficult to perform your daily activities, as there are many chances of aggravating the eczema blisters. 

  • Nummular Eczema. Nummus (Latin) means coin, hence the name. This type produces coin-shaped patches of infected skin (hence the name), mainly on the legs, arms, or chest. It usually occurs in adults.

  • Seborrheic Eczema. In adults, it is known as dandruff, while in infants it is termed as cradle cap. It first develops on your child’s face or neck around the nose and at the scalp line, causing extremely greasy pink or yellow patches, which are often covered by scales.

  • Discoid Eczema. It occurs as round, red scaly patches of blisters, usually affecting the arms and legs which become itchy and can ooze fluid, causing the infection to spread.

  • Stasis Eczema. Stasis dermatitis happens when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin. This leaked fluid causes swelling, redness, itching, and pain on the site of occurrence.

  • Contact Eczema. This is also known as contact dermatitis and occurs if your skin becomes red and inflamed due to a reaction to a substance you touch or come in contact with.
    The common culprits are detergents, bleach, certain jewelry, paint, and certain makeup products.

 2. How to take care of your skin against eczema at home?

  • Wash your hands in lukewarm water.

  • Use protective gloves when starting wet-work tasks.

  • Do not wear rings at work, eczema often starts under a finger-ring. 

  • Disinfectants should be used according to the recommendations for the workplace. 

  • Select a lipid-rich moisturizer, free from fragrance and with preservatives having the lowest allergy-causing potential.

  • Apply moisturizers on your hands regularly.

  • Take care when doing housework, use protective gloves for dishwashing, and warm gloves when going outside in winter.

3. How is eczema diagnosed?

Most of the time, your doctor will be able to diagnose atopic eczema with great accuracy by taking a medical history and then examining your skin.
Rarely, it may be necessary to draw blood and even take a sample of your skin for microscopic examination to rule out other causes of weeping, or oozing dermatitis.

4. Can eczema be caused due to poor hygiene?

Yes, eczema can be caused as a result of poor hygiene as the germs from the skin are not washed or cleaned away properly. Hence, the buildup of the germs can result in eczema.

5. What do dermatologists prescribe for eczema?

Your dermatologist/doctor may prescribe a topical corticosteroid based on your age, the location and surface area of a rash, and the severity of symptoms. Topical corticosteroids are applied directly to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day, depending on the type of corticosteroid prescribed.
Corticosteroids are a class of drugs that lowers inflammation in the body and ease swelling, itching, redness, and allergic reactions. They also reduce immune system activity. 

However, in case you experience extreme dryness, itchiness, or patches due to eczema, it is advisable to consult your dermatologist right away.

6. What should be eaten during eczema or to prevent eczema flare-ups?

Eating certain foods can trigger the body to release immune system compounds that cause inflammation, which, in turn, contributes to an eczema flare-up. 

An anti-eczema diet is similar to an anti-inflammatory diet.

Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Fish, a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids that can fight inflammation in the body.

  • Probiotics promote good gut health. Examples include yogurt and other fermented foods and drinks.

  • Foods that are high in inflammation-fighting flavonoids. Examples of these include colorful fruits and vegetables, such as apples, broccoli, cherries, spinach, and kale.

Eating more of these foods and cutting down on any trigger foods could help to reduce eczema flare-ups.


1. 2021. FAQ | Eczema Foundation. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 3 March 2021].

2. 2021. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 4 March 2021].

3. 2021. FAQS. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 4 March 2021].

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