Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Eczema facts
- What is eczema?
- What are the causes of eczema?
- What are risk factors for eczema?
- What are eczema symptoms and signs in babies, children, and adults?
- What are the different types of eczema?
- How is eczema diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for eczema?
- Can eczema be prevented?
- What are the possible complications of eczema?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for eczema?
- Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation, also known as dermatitis. The term eczema is sometimes used interchangeably with atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.
- Eczema is believed to result from a genetic defect that results in an abnormality of the skin's barrier function.
- Eczema is most common in infants and young children. All races can be affected.
- Triggers of eczema outbreaks can be environmental irritants or allergens; substances like soaps, perfumes, or chemicals; food allergies; lifestyle stress; or changes in temperature or humidity.
- Treatment can include oral or topical corticosteroids, antihistamines, or immune-suppressing drugs known as calcineurin inhibitors.
- While eczema is not preventable, self-care measures such as frequent hydration of skin and avoidance of extreme temperatures and known irritants can help manage symptoms and reduce the severity of outbreaks.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation (dermatitis). The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis (sometimes the terms eczema and dermatitis are used interchangeably). However, there are many different forms of eczema.
Eczema can affect people of any age, although the condition is most common in infants, and about 85% of those affected have an onset prior to 5 years of age. Eczema will permanently resolve by age 5 in about half of affected infants. In others, the condition tends to recur throughout life. People with eczema often have a family history of the condition or a family history of allergic conditions, such as asthma or hay fever. Atopic dermatitis is believed to belong to a group of related diseases including food allergy, asthma, and allergic rhinitis that tend to develop in sequence, suggesting that atopic dermatitis early in life may lead to or predict later allergic diseases. The nature of the link between these conditions is inadequately understood. Up to 18% of children and 1%-2% of adults are believed to have eczema. Eczema is slightly more common in girls than in boys. It occurs in people of all races.
Eczema is not contagious, but since it is believed to be at least partially inherited, it is not uncommon to find members of the same family affected.
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