What is eczema?
Eczema is a heterogeneous group of different non-infectious skin diseases which may be caused by irritative as well as immune mechanisms and lead to pathological changes in the epidermis and upper dermis (corium). It is the most common category of skin diseases. Eczematous disorders are also frequent occupational diseases. Eczema is a constellation of clinical findings, not a particular disease, and may manifest with erythema, papules, vesicles, crusts, weeping and oedema in its acute phase and with thickening of the skin, lichenification, and scaling in its chronic phase. Itching is a guiding symptom.
The terms "dermatitis" and "eczema" are often used interchangeably, whereas some authors use the term “dermatitis” for describing acute inflammatory lesions and the term “eczema” for rather chronic epidermal lesions with hyperkeratosis. On this information site, both terms are used synonymously, although we are well aware of the fact that the term “dermatitis” may also be used in non-eczematous diseases (such as dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring).