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Atopic Dermatitis Atopic dermatitis (also called eczema) is the name given to a stubborn itchy rash, which occurs in certain people with sensitive skin.

Atopic dermatitis is common in infants and small children (affecting about one in seven), but it usually clears before adulthood. Eczema may clear for years, only to reappear later at a different site.

The exact cause is unknown. It is probably the result of an inborn defect of the skin that tends to run in families; other family members often have asthma or hay fever.

Atopic eczema is not contagious and does not affect one's general health.

The skin is usually dry and easily irritated by soap, detergents and woolen clothing.

Eczema may be aggravated by hot weather and a wide variety of environmental factors both at home and at work. These include dust, cats, emotional stress, and rarely foods.

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