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Five Questions About Eczema
Date:8/3/2009

CHICAGO, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Eczema is a chronic skin disorder characterized by dry, itchy, scaly skin and rashes. It is commonly known as "the itch that rashes." (1) While the exact cause of eczema is not known, it appears to result from a complex interaction of factors including personal and family genetics, immune response and environmental factors. (2)

Scratching the affected area can lead to more itch, redness, swelling, scaling, cracking, oozing clear fluid and, ultimately, crusting. (3) Eczema is a chronic condition characterized by itchy flares when the inflammation gets worse, and periods when the skin gets better, or entirely clears up, known as remission. (4)

Who gets eczema?

Eczema is one of the most common skin disorders in children, and its prevalence has increased steadily over the past several decades. (5) It is most common in people with a family history of eczema or other atopic disorders like asthma or hay fever. More than half of the children who develop eczema will continue to have it as adults. (6) In some children, the disorder goes away for a long time, only to reappear at puberty when hormones kick in, stress becomes more common and the use of irritating skin care products or cosmetics begins. (7)

Adult cases can be frequently tied to exposure in which the skin comes into contact with such things as toiletries containing alcohol, astringents or fragrances. Additional triggers include harsh detergents/soaps, abrasive clothing (wool or synthetics), dust or sand. (8)

More than 15 million people in the US suffer from some form or degree of eczema. (9) Recent data concludes that medical care costs can range from $580 to $1,250 per patient per year.

What causes eczema?

Researchers have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause o
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SOURCE Astellas Pharmaceuticals
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