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Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term (chronic) condition in most people, although it can improve over time, especially in children and young people.

It can affect any part of the body but the most common areas are:

  • Backs or front of the knees

  • Outside or inside of the elbows

  • Around the neck

  • Hands

  • Cheeks

  • Scalp.

The cause is not known but it often occurs in people with allergies. It can run in families and often develops alongside other conditions such as asthma and hay fever.  There can be triggers for eczema including soaps, detergents, stress and weather and sometimes food allergies.

You should see your GP for help and advice. Treatments available are:

  • Emollients – used to moisturise and used daily

  • Steroid creams – used to reduce swelling redness and itching during flare-ups

  • You must also avoid scratching the affected area and avoid the triggers.


Useful links:

NHS Choices - Atopic eczema

Allergy UK - Atopic eczema

National Eczema Society BookletsPractical tips around moisturising, shaving and bathing are discussed as are issues such as self-esteem, socialising, school and work. 

National Eczema Society
Information for Teenagers with eczema