Types of eczema

Types of eczema

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Also called dermatitis


What is eczema?

Eczema is a general term. Dermatologists use it to describe skin conditions that can cause the skin to swell and discolor. The skin is often dry and itchy. Sometimes blisters form.

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. When people say “eczema,” this is often what they mean — but not always.

If your dermatologist diagnoses you with eczema, your dermatologist may use the word “dermatitis.” The words “eczema” and “dermatitis” often mean the same thing. Below, you’ll find skin conditions often called “eczema” and ones often called “dermatitis.

Often called eczema

 
  Atopic dermatitis
Children, especially babies, are most likely to get this type of eczema, which begins with very itchy skin. Scratching causes the rash. Learn more

Contact dermatitis
Objects that touch our skin cause this type of eczema. The skin may become irritated or develop an allergic reaction. Many people develop contact dermatitis when jewelry that contains nickel touches their skin, as shown on the left.

Poison ivy also causes contact dermatitis. To learn more about how to prevent and treat a rash from some common poisonous plants, visit poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis
Found only on the hands or feet, this eczema often causes a burning or itching sensation and a blistering rash.
Hand eczema
Any type of eczema that forms on the hands can be called hand eczema. A patient may have atopic dermatitis or any other type of eczema.

Often called dermatitis 

 
Neurodermatitis
People develop this type of eczema when the nerve endings in their skin become irritated. The nerve irritation triggers severe itching.
Nummular dermatitis
Coin-shaped marks often appear on the skin. This is most common after a skin injury or insect bite. Learn more
Seborrheic dermatitis
Oily, waxy patches form on the scalp and sometimes the face. Learn more
Stasis dermatitis
When veins in the legs have difficulty sending blood back to the heart, blood pools in the legs. With time, this can affect the skin.
Images used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

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