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Got a rash? Or dry, itchy skin? It might be eczema.

Eczema (also called dermatitis) is a general term used to describe a variety of skin conditions that may cause the skin to discolor, swell and sometimes be dry or itchy. Blisters may also form in some cases.


The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis (itchy skin that is dry, warm and tender). Atopic dermatitis is a common disease in children that often appears in the first year of life and can look like dry, scaly patches on the scalp, forehead and face (cheeks). The patches can be very itchy.

Seborrheic dermatitis is also very common. This dermatitis looks like a reddish rash that has a swollen or greasy appearance and white or yellowish crusty scale on the surface. One type of seborrheic dermatitis known as “cradle cap” develops as scaly, greasy patches on a baby’s scalp. In adults, seborrheic dermatitis may appear on the scalp, ears, eyebrows, center of the face, eyelids, upper chest, upper back, armpits and genitals.

Symptoms for Other Forms of Eczema

  • Contact dermatitis (irritation that may develop when a substance touches your skin such as nickel plated jewelry or poison oak)
  • Dyshidrotic dermatitis (a burning and/or itching sensation and blistering rash that appears on the hands and feet)
  • Neurodermatitis (itching trigged by nerve irritation)
  • Nummular dermatitis (coin shaped marks sometimes seen after a skin injury or insect bite)
  • Stasis dermatitis (skin changes caused by blood pooling in the legs)

Treatment Options

Treatment for eczema varies depending on the type, the patient’s age, severity of the problem, and other factors. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, or are suffering from red, dry, itchy or other problem skin, it’s best to make an appointment to see your dermatologist to determine the cause and either reduce symptoms for eliminate them entirely.

Learn More

For more information on our dermatology services, please call (530) 528-4456 or contact us. Or click here to Find a Doctor.