Eczema is a form of dermatitis or skin inflammation, which shows patches of dry flaky skin; it is often itchy and can sometimes weep. There are many different types of eczema and there are many possible causes. There is evidence to suggest that eczema may be linked to food allergies, most commonly dairy products. The two main types of eczema are contact eczema (or contact dermatitis) and atopic eczema.
Contact eczema develops when the skin is sensitive to particular irritants, for example wool, metals, make-up, detergents or sunlight.
Atopic eczema often affects people with a family history of asthma and hayfever; it is common in children and fortunately many people do eventually grow out of it.
To treat this skin condition successfully, potential skin irritants or allergies need to be identified. A healthy diet is essential for skin health, and lifestyle factors may also need to be addressed, for example stress is known to make the condition worse.