Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammation of the outer layers of the skin. This condition is not contagious.
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The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Factors that may contribute to eczema include:
- Allergies to certain fabrics, perfumes in soaps, dust mites (common), or foods
- Stress, especially if it leads to scratching
- Frequent washing of affected areas
- Use of rubber gloves in persons sensitive to latex
- Scratching or rubbing of skin
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Purvee S. Shah, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.