Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a skin condition that usually appears in early childhood and affects people with a genetic susceptibility. The skin becomes red, dry and itchy and may weep. Damage to the skin barrier allows moisture to escape and allergens and infection to enter. In response, the immune system produces skin inflammation. Eczema is not contagious. Eczema, the most common type of skin inflammation (dermatitis), refers to several conditions that share a pattern of changes in the surface of the skin. Eczema first appears as an episode of itching and redness of the skin. You also may have tiny bumps or blisters. When it develops into a long-term condition (chronic eczema), it leads to thickening skin, scaling, flaking, dryness and color changes.
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