The term eczema describes a large number of skin diseases that cause itching and burning of the skin. The many different forms of eczema also have innumerable causes, both from within the body (e.g. stress) and outside (e.g. allergies, chemicals).
The appearance of eczema depends more on its position on the body, duration, severity and degree of scratching than the actual cause. Typically it appears as red, swollen, itchy skin that is initially covered with small fluid-filled blisters that quickly break down to a scale or crust.
No investigations are usually necessary, but a biopsy can be diagnostic.
Treatment depends upon cause of eczema, but steroid creams and tablets are commonly used. The main complication is a secondary bacterial infection of the skin.