What is eczema?
Eczema is a condition where the skin is very itchy and dry and over time the skin can harden in places. It follows a pattern of flaring up and then improving. There’s usually no single factor responsible for an eczema flare up. In between flare up the skin is usually dry and flakey.
How common is it?
In Australia about one in 5 children under 2 are affected. More than 6 million Australians have suffered with eczema at some point, most of these before they turn five years old.
What causes it?
It is not very well understood what causes it, although it is generally agreed that genetics plays a role. The skin barrier in people who have eczema does not work as well as in people who don’t have it. In people who have eczema, the skin lets moisture easily escape, which makes it dry and it also allows irritants to get into the skin which can make it itchy and inflamed.