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Dermatitis and eczema are often synonymous. In clinical practice, eczema is usually reserved for atopic dermatitis.

Characteristic features include:

  • itch
  • hot red skin
  • oedema in acute condition
  • oozing and weeping
  • crusting in the acute phase
  • fissuring and scaling in the chronic phase
  • excoriation:
    • due to scratching
    • there may be secondary thickening or lichenification
  • secondary infection
  • mpairment of thermoregulation because of an increase in blood flow to the skin


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