Atopic eczema, also known as eczema or atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory, chronically relapsing, pruritic skin disease. It is one of the commonest dermatoses. 2.5% of adults in the UK and up to 4.9% of adults globally report doctor-diagnosed eczema.1 It affects up to an estimated 16% of children in the UK and 7-8% globally.2 affects both sexes with a slight male predominance.
The association with atopy differentiates atopic eczema from eczema associated with irritants, allergic contact, discoid, venous, seborrhoeic and photosensitivity, which have different disease patterns and aetiologies.
A complex interaction of genetics and environment all contribute to the overall clinical picture.
The key pathophysiological features of atopic eczema are dysfunction of the epidermal barrier and immune-mediated inflammation.