5 Surprising Myths About Eczema Explained by a Dermatologist

Explaining several prevailing beliefs about atopic dermatitis

​yellow flower in the wild
Credits: "Rodion Kutsaev at Unsplash.com"

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a frustrating and challenging condition to treat. A chronic, itchy, irritated, and scaling rash, eczema leads to poor sleep, frequent scratching, and a lower quality of life.[1] Eczema is challenging enough to treat and it’s important to dispel common myths about eczema:



Myth #1: Eczema Is Contagious

It can be uncomfortable on many levels for a child or adult to have visibly irritated skin.[1] It is even more embarrassing if the people around them think that they have a contagious disease. Eczema is a condition that develops as a result of both genetics and the influence of environment. However, it is not an infection that can be spread from person to person. 

Verdict: False. Atopic Dermatitis (eczema) is not a contagious disease.


* This Website is for general skin beauty, wellness, and health information only. This Website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. The information provided on this Website should never be used to disregard, delay, or refuse treatment or advice from a physician or a qualified health provider.


  1. Lewis-Jones S. Quality of life and childhood atopic dermatitis: the misery of living with childhood eczema. Int J Clin Pract.2006;60(8):984-992; PMID: 16893440.
  2. Williams HC. Established corticosteroid creams should be applied only once daily in patients with atopic eczema. BMJ.2007;334(7606):1272; PMID: 17569936.
  3. Green C, Colquitt JL, Kirby J, et al. Topical corticosteroids for atopic eczema: clinical and cost effectiveness of once-daily vs. more frequent use. Br J Dermatol.2005;152(1):130-141; PMID: 15656813.
  4. Lloyd DM, Hall E, Hall S, et al. Can itch-related visual stimuli alone provoke a scratch response in healthy individuals? Br J Dermatol.2013;168(1):106-111; PMID: 23171404.
  5. Dawn A, Papoiu AD, Chan YH, et al. Itch characteristics in atopic dermatitis: results of a web-based questionnaire. Br J Dermatol.2009;160(3):642-644; PMID: 19067703.
  6. Urrutia-Pereira M, Sole D, Rosario NA, et al. Sleep-related disorders in Latin-American children with atopic dermatitis: A case control study. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr).2016;10.1016/j.aller.2016.08.014PMID: 27908570.
  7. Edell-Gustafsson UM, Kritz EI, Bogren IK. Self-reported sleep quality, strain and health in relation to perceived working conditions in females. Scand J Caring Sci.2002;16(2):179-187; PMID: 12000672.
  8. Church MK, Maurer M. H1 -Antihistamines and itch in atopic dermatitis. Exp Dermatol.2015;24(5):332-333; PMID: 25557435.
  9. Kamata Y, Tominaga M, Takamori K. Itch in Atopic Dermatitis Management. Curr Probl Dermatol.2016;50:86-93; PMID: 27578076.
  10. Basler RS, Basler GC, Palmer AH, et al. Special skin symptoms seen in swimmers. J Am Acad Dermatol.2000;43(2 Pt 1):299-305; PMID: 10906654.