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What Is Eczema?

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It’s sometimes called “the itch that rashes,” because the itching usually comes first. This group of skin rashes may first appear in babies and toddlers, becoming drier and flaky in older children. Adults may see scaly, leathery patches or a stubborn hand eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a common, often-inherited form, but there are other types and many treatments.


Itching is the main one. And when you start to scratch, your skin becomes inflamed and even itchier. It can look different, but you may notice:  

  • Red, scaly areas
  • Small, rough bumps
  • Thick, leathery patches
  • Bumps that leak fluid and crust over

If you have dark skin, the affected area might be lighter or darker.

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