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Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a long-lasting, itchy inflammatory condition of the skin which may become red, dry, blistered, crusted, scaly or thickened.

Eczema can affect any part of the skin but most commonly manifests in parts of the body where skin folds are found such as the elbows or backs of the knees. The cause of eczema is not yet known but it is thought to involve an inherited tendency towards sensitive skin.

Although eczema can flare up for no apparent reason, sufferers may notice particular triggers that seem to worsen their condition. Some common examples are allergens such as pollen, house dust mites or pet fur, irritants such as detergents and soaps and rough clothing fabrics such as wool. Rarely, certain foods such as milk, eggs, wheat or nuts may trigger a flare-up.

Although eczema cannot be cured, it can be controlled by avoiding any known triggers of the condition. A range of medications are also available to help control symptoms and emollients in the form of creams, lotions, or oils can prevent dehydration of the skin and help it repair as well as relieving itchiness.

In the UK, up to 20% of children and up to 10% of adults have eczema and the condition is equally common in men and women.
Study: Pregnant women need to avoid antibiotics to prevent asthma development in children

Study: Pregnant women need to avoid antibiotics to prevent asthma development in children

Getting sick when you're pregnant is especially difficult, but women whose children are at risk for developing asthma should avoid antibiotics, according to a new study. [More]
Peanut consumption in infancy prevents allergy in kids who are at high-risk for developing peanut allergy

Peanut consumption in infancy prevents allergy in kids who are at high-risk for developing peanut allergy

A new study reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates that consumption of a peanut-containing snack by infants who are at high-risk for developing peanut allergy prevents the subsequent development of allergy. [More]
People living beside the sea have higher vitamin D levels

People living beside the sea have higher vitamin D levels

People living close to the coast in England have higher vitamin D levels than inland dwellers, according to a new study published in the journal Environment International. [More]
Ohio State allergy specialists study, learn more about eosinophilic esophagitis

Ohio State allergy specialists study, learn more about eosinophilic esophagitis

Its name is daunting. It's the hottest topic among allergy experts. It's showing up more and doctors don't yet know why. Allergy specialists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are seeing more people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an inflammatory response in the esophagus that makes it hard to swallow food. [More]
Fat cells below skin help protect from bacteria, say researchers

Fat cells below skin help protect from bacteria, say researchers

When it comes to skin infections, a healthy and robust immune response may depend greatly upon what lies beneath. In a new paper published in the January 2, 2015 issue of Science, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report the surprising discovery that fat cells below the skin help protect us from bacteria. [More]
Exposure to peanut proteins in household dust may trigger peanut allergy

Exposure to peanut proteins in household dust may trigger peanut allergy

Exposure to peanut proteins in household dust may be a trigger of peanut allergy, according to a study published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. [More]
Scientists identify four new genes associated with severe food allergy

Scientists identify four new genes associated with severe food allergy

Scientists have identified four new genes associated with the severe food allergy eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Because the genes appear to have roles in other allergic diseases and in inflammation, the findings may point toward potential new treatments for EoE. [More]
Adults with eczema at greater risk of accidental bone fractures, other injuries

Adults with eczema at greater risk of accidental bone fractures, other injuries

Intense itching and dry, irritable skin aren't the only problems adults with eczema face. They are at greater risk of accidental bone fractures and other injuries, a new Northwestern MedicineĀ® study has found. [More]
Regeneron, Sanofi announce initiation of dupilumab Phase 3 study in adults with atopic dermatitis

Regeneron, Sanofi announce initiation of dupilumab Phase 3 study in adults with atopic dermatitis

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi today announced that the first patients have been dosed in a Phase 3 clinical study of dupilumab, an investigational therapy that blocks IL-4 and IL-13 signaling, in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) that is not adequately controlled with topical AD medications. [More]
Vitamin D supplement significantly reduces symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis

Vitamin D supplement significantly reduces symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis

A study conducted in more than 100 Mongolian schoolchildren found that daily treatment with a vitamin D supplement significantly reduced the symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema. [More]
Research findings open up new avenues for development of chronic itch treatments

Research findings open up new avenues for development of chronic itch treatments

Areas of the brain that respond to reward and pleasure are linked to the ability of a drug known as butorphanol to relieve itch, according to new research led by Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Temple University School of Medicine, and Director of the Temple Itch Center. [More]
Researchers say that environment plays much stronger role than genetics in eosinophilic esophagitis

Researchers say that environment plays much stronger role than genetics in eosinophilic esophagitis

Researchers have found that environment has a much stronger role than genetics in eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a severe, often painful food allergy that renders children unable to eat a wide variety of foods. [More]
Dry roasted peanuts more likely to trigger allergy risk

Dry roasted peanuts more likely to trigger allergy risk

Dry roasted peanuts are more likely to trigger an allergy to peanuts than raw peanuts, suggests an Oxford University study involving mice. [More]
Researchers show link between childhood asthma and prenatal exposure to phthalates

Researchers show link between childhood asthma and prenatal exposure to phthalates

Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health are the first to demonstrate an association between childhood asthma and prenatal exposure to two phthalates used in a diverse array of household products. Results appear online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. [More]
Around 9.6% of women diagnosed with dry eye disease, treated with artificial tear eye drops

Around 9.6% of women diagnosed with dry eye disease, treated with artificial tear eye drops

The symptoms of dry eye disease include the sensation of grit in the eye, frequently accompanied by itching, burning and visual disturbance. The causes are poorly understood. [More]
Young inner-city children appear to suffer from food allergies

Young inner-city children appear to suffer from food allergies

Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. [More]
Food allergies more common in young inner-city children

Food allergies more common in young inner-city children

Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Childrenā€™s Center. [More]
Dermatologist warns about safety of children's skin care products

Dermatologist warns about safety of children's skin care products

Before the advent of Internet search engines, parents obtained much of their medical advice from their child's doctor. [More]
UCSF study: Acute psychological stress promotes healing in mouse models of different skin irritations

UCSF study: Acute psychological stress promotes healing in mouse models of different skin irritations

Brief, acute psychological stress promoted healing in mouse models of three different types of skin irritations, in a study led by UC San Francisco researchers. [More]
Metvix PDT now available at Odette Cancer Centre as additional treatment option for NMSC patients

Metvix PDT now available at Odette Cancer Centre as additional treatment option for NMSC patients

The Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in conjunction with Galderma Canada are pleased to announce that Metvix PDT (Photodynamic Therapy), is now available at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto as an additional treatment option for patients with NMSC (non-melanoma skin cancer). [More]
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