What is Eczema?
Eczema is a common skin condition hallmarked by itchy and inflamed patches of skin, particularly on faces in infants, as well as inside the elbow and behind the knees of children, teenagers, and adults. Also commonly known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is caused by an overactive immune system. The skin condition is more common in babies and young children, but eczema can also occur in adults. Up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults develop atopic dermatitis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Atopic dermatitis crops up during the first year of life for 60 percent or more sufferers. At least 80 percent have the inflammatory skin condition before the age of five. In rare cases, atopic dermatitis can first appear during puberty or adulthood. It affects males and females equally.