Clark 732.574.1399 | Elizabeth 908.512.7900 | Jersey City 201.792.4500 | Kearny 201.998.4699 | Kenilworth 908.241.3181 |
South Plainfield 908.941.2227 | Staten Island 718.448.4488 | Teaneck 201.837.3939 | West New York 201.861.4226

Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors of Eczema

Scratching skin

It’s unsightly at best, painful at its worst. But if you live with eczema, know that there are ways to treat and manage the condition.

According to the National Institutes of Health, eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, affects more than 15 million people in the United States. Of them, 65 percent develop symptoms in the first year of life and 90 percent before age five. If the condition is left untreated, 75 percent of children affected will develop hay fever or asthma.

Symptoms of eczema include:

  • Chronic itching, which may intensify at night
  • Red or brownish-gray patches that may appear on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees and, in infants, on the face and scalp
  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked, dry, scaly skin
  • Raw, sensitive and swollen skin caused by continual scratching

Doctors have yet to pinpoint an exact root cause of eczema, but common contributing factors include:

  • Naturally dry, sensitive skin, which reduces the skin’s ability to be an effective barrier
  • Dehydrated skin resulting from long, hot baths or showers
  • A gene variation that affects the skin’s barrier function
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, on the skin that creates a sweat gland-blocking film
  • Scratching, which causes further skin damage
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Stress and sweat
  • Changes in heat and humidity
  • Skin exposure to solvents, cleaners, soaps and detergents
  • Wool in clothing, blankets and carpets
  • Dust and pollen
  • Tobacco smoke and air pollution
  • Allergies to eggs, milk, peanuts, soybeans, fish and wheat, particularly in infants and children

Eczema is more prevalent among African Americans, those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), residents of urban areas and anyone with a family history of atopic dermatitis, allergies, hay fever or asthma.

If you suspect that you or your child may have eczema, schedule a consultation at your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location. Reach us in Clark at 732-574-1399; Kearny at 201-998-4699; Teaneck at 201-837-3939; Jersey City at 201-792-4500 or Staten Island at 718-448-4488.

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Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology

Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location servicing Plainfield and Edison.

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ

469 Morris Ave. Ste 2
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.

622 Boulevard
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Kenilworth, NJ location servicing Springfield Township, Union, and Mountainside.