Eczema is a red, itchy rash and is the general term for many types of skin inflammations, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It is not caused by any one thing, and is not contagious, nor is it life threatening however it can be a chronic life-long condition.

Eczema is typically a relapsing itchy rash that comes and goes, and is often caused by some type of an allergic reaction. Some people find that their eczema is worse around animals. Eczema may clear for years, only to reappear later–often on the hands. It isn’t contagious like a cold, but most people with eczema have family members with the condition.

Often, eczema is worse in winter, producing sore cracks that often bleed. Eczema is usually seen in families or individuals with either asthma, seasonal allergies, sinus problems, or other atopic conditions. It is quite common in infants and young children, and may disappear before adulthood, only to re-appear later in life. Eczema is a very common condition, and it affects all races and ages.

Eczema has no cure at this time, although there are many treatments available that may help alleviate the symptoms.