Eczema is a congenital skin condition.
More specifically, eczema is a common skin condition characterized by reddening (erythema) and vesicle formation, which may lead to weeping and crusting.
It is endogenous, or "constitutional". This means that outside agents do not play a primary role. Contrast this with dermatitis, in which case outside agents do play a primary role. However in some contexts the terms dermatitis and eczema are used interchangeably to refer to the symptoms of these skin conditions.
The five main types of eczema are:
- Atopic eczema, which is associated with asthma and hay-fever
- Seborrhoeic eczema (or Dermatitis), typically affects the scalp, eyelids, nose, and lip. It is associated with the presence of pityrosporum yeasts and common among AIDS patients.
- Discoid (or Nummular) eczema, characterized by coin-shaped lesions and only occuring in adults
- Pompholyx, affecting only the hands and feet
- Gravitational (or stasis) eczema, which is associated with poor venous circulation and is sometimes referred to as varicose eczema.