What is eczema?
What kind of condition is it?
Eczema is a condition that happens due to inflammation of the skin. It makes your skin red, itchy, dry and cracked. Its symptoms can sometimes appear mild and other times be severe.
With mild eczema, you may only have small patches of dry skin that are occasionally itchy. Severe eczema causes widespread red, sore and inflamed patches of skin all over your body, with constant itching.
Usually people will develop eczema during childhood, some will grow out of this while they are teenagers. There isn’t a cure for eczema, but there are treatments that make the symptoms better, and it can be managed so that it only flares up from time-to-time.
Who gets it?
People of all age groups can get eczema. However, most people will be found to have it from childhood, and it is very common in children under 5 years old.
How common is it?
Eczema is more common in children and usually develops before they are 5 years old. Children make up about 80% of eczema cases in the UK population.
Eczema can also develop for the first time in adults, but eczema in adults is found in only about 2% - 18% of cases in the UK population.
How long does it last?
There’s no fixed time for an eczema flare up to last for as it can vary, even between flare ups for the same person. It’s also not clear what the average time is for a flare up to last.
When it comes to how long the condition lasts for, eczema is a long term (chronic) condition with no cure. However, it has been known to completely clear up in some children by the time they are adolescents or adults. Studies have shown that about 2 in 3 children will grow out of it by their mid-teen years.
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