Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a common, noncontagious condition that causes small itchy bumps and red patches on the skin as well as dry, scaly, uncomfortable skin.

Eczema often appear on the hands, feet, face, neck and chest and behind the elbows and knees. Eczema is often associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and other atopic diseases and is a chronic disease. It is common in infants and children but affects people of all ages.


What causes eczema?

The exact cause of eczema is unknown. It may be caused by dry skin, a genetic problem, a weak immune system, irritants like soap and water, bacteria (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus) or environmental conditions.

How is eczema treated?

After taking a thorough history and examination, our dermatologists may prescribe:

  • Changes in your skin care regimen (e.g., regular moisturising) and lifestyle
  • Prescription creams (e.g., topical corticosteroid, calcineurin inhibitors)
  • Oral medication (e.g., antibiotic, antihistamine, corticosteroid)
  • Blood or allergy tests
  • Phototherapy
  • Oral medications

If your eczema flare-ups are too difficult to manage, ask your general practitioner for a referral so we can check what changes in your treatment can be made. Visit your GP, who can then download our urgent referral form, complete it and fax it to us.

For further information, visit the Eczema Association of Australasia website.