An Overview of the Different Types of Eczema

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed and red in lighter skin tones or brown, purple, gray or ashen in darker skin tones. Eczema is very common. In fact, more than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema.

Eczema is not contagious. You can’t “catch it” from someone else. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers do know that people who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers.

When an irritant or an allergen from outside or inside the body “switches on” the immune system, it produces inflammation. It is this inflammation that causes the symptoms common to most types of eczema.

There are seven different types of eczema:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis

It is possible to have more than one type of eczema on your body at the same time. Each form of eczema has its own set of triggers and treatment requirements, which is why it’s so important to consult with a healthcare provider who specializes in treating eczema. Dermatologists in particular can help identify which type or types of eczema you may have and how to treat and prevent flare-ups.

Find an eczema specialist near you.