5 Surprising Myths About Eczema Explained by a Dermatologist

Explaining several prevailing beliefs about atopic dermatitis

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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.

 

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References

  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.