Last Updated on by frcemuser

Atopic eczema is a chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin condition characterised by an itchy dry red scaly rash favouring the flexural areas. The onset is usually in childhood, and it is associated with atopy (hay fever, asthma, allergies).

General principles of management:

  • Avoidance of triggers – soaps should be avoided
  • Moisturise – regular emollients applied
  • Topical steroids – suppress inflammation
  • Antihistamines – symptomatic relief for itching
  • Bandages and dressings – to prevent scratching and to potentiate treatment
  • Specialist dermatological treatment e.g. immunosuppressants, phototherapy


  • Secondary bacterial infection e.g. S. aureus – may present as typical impetigo or as worsening of eczema
    with increased redness, oozing and crusting
  • Eczema herpeticium (herpes simplex infection) – indicated by grouped painful vesicles and punched-out lesions, worsening eczema refractory to treatment, +/- systemic features
  • Erythroderma

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