IN THIS ARTICLE
Atopic dermatitis spontaneously improves in most individuals after puberty. In a few unfortunate individuals, it becomes chronic, resulting in occasional flares often at times of very low humidity (such as wintertime with the heat on).
The role of psychological stress inducing flares of the dermatitis is poorly understood. There is no question that when the condition flares and sleep is inhibited by itching, one's normal ability to deal with emotional problems is diminished.
Repeated scratching of the rash can cause toughening of the skin. Small patches of the skin can become thickened and like leather. This condition is called lichen simplex chronicus.
Eczema causes skin sores and cracks that are susceptible to infection. These infections are usually very minor, but they do require treatment with antibiotics or they may become very severe. See a health-care professional if an infection is suspected.
Eczema may fade in adulthood, but people who have eczema tend to have lifelong problems with skin irritation and related problems.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2014
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