Eczema is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). In England, an estimated 5,773,700 or about one in every nine people have been diagnosed with the disease by a clinician at some point in their lives.
The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and may enlarge the rash.