Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is the most widespread chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Around one child out of six suffers from it. The first symptoms, such as red patches on the cheeks, may appear as early as 2-3 months. The rash may develop into a thickening of the skin and eventually a yellowish oozing crust may form.
Eczema can spread to the head, neck and forearms. The diaper area is usually free of eczema due to its humid environment. After the age of two, eczema patches will more commonly be found in the elbow and knee creases. The wrists, ankles, neck and area around the mouth are also likely to be affected. Typically, there will be flare-ups followed by symptom-free periods. Eczema is associated with a lot of itchiness and it is important to note that scratching will worsen the condition.