Eczema is also referred to as dermatitis. It's a common dry skin condition.

In detail, what is Eczema?

Eczema is also called dermatitis. It's a chronic skin condition that makes the skin red, itchy, dry and cracked. Flare-ups can occur on every part of the body. There are different kinds of eczema and the affliction varies from person to person. It is considered as one of the most challenging and distressing skin conditions to manage.

The two most common types are atopic eczema (which occurs mainly in areas where the skin folds) and contact eczema (usually found on hands and feet).

Living with eczema can be very difficult. There is the psychological side: the visible symptoms make many sufferers self-conscious. But eczema also has a big impact on physical wellbeing, as the constant itching may lead to sleepless nights and fatigue.

Different types of eczema

What are the symptoms of eczema?

The symptoms of eczema, also known as dermatitis, are different for each person. The rash may even look different or affect different parts of your body from time to time. It can be mild, moderate or severe. You may have times when your eczema flares up, and times when your skin is clear.

Signs and symptoms of eczema are: dry, sensitive skin, intense itching, red inflamed skin, recurring rash, scaly areas, oozing or crusting, areas of swelling, dark coloured patches of skin.

Although you may be experiencing some or all of these eczema symptoms, only a doctor can make a diagnosis of eczema.

How do I recognize eczema rashes?

No matter which part of the skin is affected, eczema is almost always itchy. Sometimes the itching will start before the rash appears. The rash most commonly appears on the face or on the back of the knees, wrists, hands or feet. It may affect other areas as well.

Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened or scaly. In fair-skinned people these areas may initially appear reddish and then turn brown. Among darker-skinned people eczema can affect pigmentation, making the affected area lighter or darker.

In infants the itchy rash can produce an oozing, crusting condition mainly on the face and scalp, but patches may appear anywhere.

How many types of eczema are there?

There are several types of eczema. They including atopic, contact (an allergic reaction or irritation), adult seborrheic, infantile seborrheic, discoid, pompholyx, asteatotic or varicose.

What is the difference between atopic eczema and contact eczema?

Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is mostly driven by genetic factors. External factors are secondary. It develops all over the body. Physical contact with an irritant is not a necessary to develop the disease. Atopic eczema patients have oversensitive skin that can react even to dust, pollen or dry air.

Contact eczema, also known as contact dermatitis, is driven mainly by external factors and develops at the site of physical contact with the irritant or allergen. Genetic predisposition comes second.

What is the difference between irritant contact eczema and allergic contact eczema?

Irritant contact eczema results from chronic exposure to irritant substances, which causes physical damage. It is often referred to as occupational eczema or hand eczema. It is particularly common in people with jobs involving cleaning, catering, hairdressing, healthcare and mechanical work.

Allergic contact eczema results from an overreaction of the body's immune system against a substance in contact with the skin. Reactions can occur in a delayed stage. For example, after many years using perfume you can suddenly develop an allergy to it. A very common allergic reaction is to nickel, which is often found in earrings, belt buckles and jean buttons.

Will my child “grow out” of eczema?

The tendency for sensitive skin may remain even into teenage years or beyond. However, in most cases your child’s eczema will gradually improve as they get older. The age at which eczema ceases to be a problem varies. Many are better by the age of 3 years, and most will have only occasional trouble by the time they are teenagers. It is estimated that about 2/3 of children “outgrow” their eczema, although they may always have a tendency for dry skin. Only a few continue to have troublesome eczema in adult life.

What triggers Eczema?


A healthy skin is a barrier that protects our bodies from harmful effects of the environment. If you suffer from eczema, the ‘building blocks’ of the skin cells (lipids) are broken down, reducing the protective barrier. The skin dries and becomes vulnerable to external irritants and allergens. This can lead to inflammation and scaly, red, itchy skin.

One's chance of developing eczema depends on both genetic factors and external circumstances, such as the environment or the profession one does (for instance, a hairdresser is more likely to be exposed to chemical irritants). Most people who suffer from this condition have a family history of allergies. Eczema flare-ups typically occur when the immune system responds to external triggers that are able to penetrate the skin with a dysfunctional barrier.

Atopic eczema flare-ups are often triggered by a physical reaction to certain foods, plants, textiles or animals. Other known triggers are stress, smoking, sweating, pollen, and cold or dry weather conditions.

Contact eczema is caused by skin contact with a particular substance. This can be a so-called ‘irritant’ (a substance that damages the skin) or an ‘allergen’ (a substance that triggers the immune system to react in way that affects the skin).

Irritants include detergents, perfumes and cosmetics, machine oil, soil, cement powder, certain plants - and even water.

Allergens can include cosmetic ingredients, certain metals such as nickel, rubber, latex and textiles.

Whatever the trigger, eczema is a serious and life-affecting condition. The skin has a weak and malfunctioning barrier, which easily loses moisture and lets in irritants. Therefore, effective treatment requires a product that not only reduces the symptoms, but moisturizes the skin and helps to restore its protective barrier.

What is severe eczema?

Eczema can range from mild to severe. SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) is used by doctors to assess the extent and severity of eczema. The SCORAD evaluation is complimented by a standardized documented used throughout the treatment.

How it works: healthcare professionals measure the extent of the eczema (% of body area) and its intensity. The patient reports the severity of itching and insomnia. Based on this information an overall score is calculated:

  • Below 15: mild
  • 15-40: moderate
  • Above 40: severe
What causes eczema?

The specific cause of eczema remains unknown, but it is believed to develop due to a combination of hereditary (genetic) and environmental factors.

Can infants have eczema?

Eczema usually starts within the first five years of life, most often in the first six months. It typically lasts into childhood and adolescence. In some cases it may last into adulthood.

The location and appearance of eczema changes as children grow. In young babies, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, scalp and flexing areas (elbows, knees, wrists, ankles).

At 6-12 months of age it is often worst on the crawling surfaces: elbows and knees. Around the age of two it tends to involve the creases of the elbows, knees, wrists, ankles and hands. It may affect the skin around the mouth and the eyelids.

Older children and adolescents may have eczema only on the hands. In young babies eczema tends to be more red and weepy. In toddlers and older children it often appears more dry, and the skin may be thickened with prominent skin lines (a skin change called lichenification).

What triggers eczema in babies?

Eczema flare-ups occur when the skin is very dry, when it is infected or when it comes in contact with irritating substances or allergic triggers. Eczema tends to be worse in the winter when the air is dry and tends to improve in the summer when it is more humid.

In babies, saliva from drooling may cause additional irritation, particularly to the cheeks, chin and neck. In such cases, applying an ointment can prevent direct contact with saliva and decrease skin irritation.

Specific triggers can vary based on the child and can include pets, carpet, dust mites, fabrics (such as wool), cigarette smoke and scented products (such as perfume, laundry detergent and air freshener).

What is the link between eczema and allergies?

Studies show that if one or both parents have eczema, asthma or seasonal allergies, their child is more likely to develop the most common type of eczema: atopic dermatitis.

What's more, children with eczema may be more at risk of developing allergies or asthma. In fact, one study found that 35% of adults who had eczema as children had hay fever or asthma as adults.

What clothing should be worn by people with eczema?

If you suffer from eczema it is important to wear clothing that doesn’t aggravate the condition, and at best helps to control it.

Synthetic fabrics and wool have been shown to aggravate eczema and should be avoided. Normal silk contains a substance called sericin, a potential irritant to sensitive skin, so it is unsuitable for eczema patients.

Cotton is commonly recommended for people with eczema. It is relatively soft and naturally abundant.

Can stress trigger eczema?

Stress itself doesn’t cause eczema. But because it affects the immune system it can make an existing condition worse.

How can I prevent eczema itch?

In most cases moisturizers are the first step in itch control. Applying moisturizer helps lock in your skin’s own moisture. The key is to moisturize often, especially right after bathing or washing.

Cold compresses applied to the skin can also soothe itch. Place an ice pack inside a plastic bag or soft towel. Hold the ice next to the itchy skin for a few minutes or as needed to help relieve itch.

Choose comfortable, loose-fitting fabrics that make your skin feel good. Cottons, cotton blends and are usually the most comfortable. Avoid coarse materials, wool and synthetic fabrics since these can irritate your skin.

Short fingernails cause less damage to the skin if you do happen to scratch. If you find yourself scratching at night try wearing cotton gloves to bed.

As of which age can Dermalex Eczema cream be used?

Dermalex Repair Eczema is suitable for people aged 6 years or older suffering from mild or moderate atopic dermatitis symptoms.

Is Eczema contagious?

No. A child cannot get dermatitis from playing with another child who has it. Your child cannot get dermatitis from a public bathroom or a swimming pool.

Atopic dermatitis is hereditary (passed from a parent to a child through genes). Some parents pass the gene for atopic dermatitis on without ever having atopic dermatitis.

Who has Eczema

Up to 10% of the adult population suffers from eczema, with men and women equally affected. The first symptoms often appear during childhood, as about 20% of all children have eczema. As they get older, this condition normally improves or disappears completely [4-6].

Eczema usually starts in infancy (infantile eczema), with most patients developing symptoms in the first year of life (the skin is still underdeveloped and hence more prone to irritation or allergies).

In young babies, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, behind the ears and on the hands or feet.

As the child gets older, the distribution changes towards the insides of the arms and legs, the creases of the elbows and knees, the wrists, ankles, and hands.

In general, eczema symptoms become less severe with time. Many children “outgrow” eczema by the age of 2.

Eczema symptoms can return later in life. Approximately one third of atopic eczema patients can also develop asthma and/or hay fever.

progress profile
Does mild eczema need to be treated?

You should always manage your eczema, even when you have clear skin. By managing your skin daily you can control the eczema more efficiently and help prevent new flare-ups.

How should I treat itchy skin caused by eczema?

It is not easy to treat an eczema itch, as it is caused by inflammation under rough and dry skin.

A treatment for eczema flare-ups, such as moisturizers or prescribed steroids, might relieve the itch. A cold feeling from a cooled cream can also bring temporary relief.

Important: creams with steroids should only be used when recommended by a doctor and only for the specified period. Steroid-free moisturizers are safe to use whenever you want.

How should babies with eczema be treated?

Recent scientific studies show that using moisturizers for small babies can prevent or diminish development of eczema flare-ups, even in children with a genetically high risk of developing eczema [8].

Babies should be treated under a doctor's supervision and an eczema management plan should be followed. Fortunately, in most children eczema becomes less severe with time.

How can I protect against irritants and allergens that cause eczema rashes?

To protect against eczema rashes try to identify and avoid substances that irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

If you are in contact with a rash-causing substance wash your skin right away. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap and rinse completely. Wash any clothing or other items that may have come into contact with a plant allergen, such as poison ivy.

Wear protective clothing. Face masks, goggles, gloves and other protective items can shield you from irritating substances, including household cleansers

How do I apply Dermalex Eczema cream?

Apply Dermalex Eczema cream 2 to 3 times a day to suitably cleansed skin and massage gently into the affected areas.

Please read the full instruction for use before using the product.

How many times a day should I apply Dermalex Eczema cream?

Apply Dermalex Eczema cream 2 to 3 times a day.

Can I use makeup if I have eczema?

It depends on the makeup and its quality. In general, it is better not to use makeup products with colourants and fragrances on skin that is prone to eczema, in order to avoid irritation, allergy or further drying the skin.

Is Dermalex Eczema cream safe for babies and infants?

Specially formulated for infants, Dermalex Eczema cream for babies and children is suitable for babies starting at 8 weeks old.

How to treat Eczema

Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Clinical tools are available that assist doctors in assessing the severity and extent of eczema.

Mild to moderate eczema is usually treated with products that moisturise the skin (emollients) and products containing mild steroids.

***for restriction to treatment for Dermalex: “rare case of allergy can be occured if you are hypersensitive to one of the ingredients which is also the case for all other products.

****: for Long-term use (>30 days), {Koppes SA, 2015 #17}


These are moisturizers, available as creams, ointments and lotions. They can be applied generously to keep the skin moist and soft and prevent it from cracking. There are also emollient substitutes for soap, bath oil and shower gel (products that dry out the skin and can be irritating for people with eczema).

Emollients only work on the surface of the skin and don’t tackle the underlying inflammation.

Topical steroids

When the flare-ups become inflamed, sore and very itchy, products containing topical steroids are often prescribed. Topical means that the product is applied to the skin. Steroids are hormones, effective in reducing the inflammation with various potency but they don’t tackle the underlying cause of eczema flare ups. For instance, hydrocortisone is considered a mild steroid, while Clobetasol is very potent.

However, steroids dehydrate the skin and carry a high risk of side effects. They can cause sensitivity to sunlight, depigmentation, stretch marks, increased susceptibility to infections, easy bruising and eczema relapses.

They should therefore generally only be used in the short-term to control flare-ups, and always in combination with emollients. Your Doctor will provide the best advice for duration of use.

Dermalex Eczema

Dermalex helps reduce both conditions helping to moisturise and repair the skin’s natural barrier.

This unique dual action makes Dermalex Eczema cream very effective in aiding relief of eczema [7]. It helps prevents further moisture loss and protects the skin from irritants and allergens. It has been proven to be well tolerated, and can safely be used long-term [7].

This product is a medical device.


Susceptibility to eczema is often genetic and there’s still no cure for this extremely irritating skin condition. There are more and more studies showing promising results for prevention of eczema by using emollients from infancy, but still more proof is needed [8]. What you can do is avoid the threats and triggers as much as possible to control the flare-ups.

Avoid allergens

Considering having yourself tested for the specific substances that trigger your allergic reactions, contributing to your eczema.

Maintain your personal health

Maintaining good personal health and hygiene is especially important if you are prone to eczema. Keep your skin grease-free by showering regularly and use emollient cleansers, gels and specialised shampoos.

Physical exertion and sweating can cause itching, so take a lukewarm shower as soon as possible after physical exercise, and apply a moisturing cream afterwards. Try to get enough sleep so that you aren't tired, and avoid stress, as these can also trigger eczema flare-ups. Cigarette smoke is another substance that triggers eczema, so avoid smoke where possible.

Avoid irritants

External irritants can play a significant role in eczema flare-ups, so it's wise to avoid them if possible. Wear cotton clothing rather than woolen, and avoid nylon.

Sleep in a fresh, cool room and avoid exposing your skin to either excessive heat or cold. Use a humidifier to moisten the air during dry seasons, and in winter when central heating dries out the air, causing itching.

Swimming pool chlorine can irritate the skin, so it's important to take a shower immediately after swimming. Apply a moisturizing cream afterwards.

Our product

Dermalex Eczema

Dermalex Eczema moisturizes the skin as emollients do, but also helps the skin to rebuild its protective barrier to prevent future flare-ups and is suitable for long-term use [7].

It comes in three creams, each optimized to treat different types of eczema at different ages:

  • Dermalex hand irritation cream (from 6 years old)
  • Dermalex treatment for atopic eczema in adults (from 6 years old)
  • Dermalex atopic eczema cream for babies and children (from 8 weeks old)

What makes these solutions unique [7] is that they combine the efficacy of a mild steroid with the gentleness of emollients.

The Dermalex solutions have been proven effective in the relief of mild to moderate cases of eczema [7].

Dermalex Eczema cream works as follows:

  • Helps reduce the symptoms
  • Moisturises the affected skin
  • Helps replenish the missing lipids to help restore the skin’s protective barrier, preventing irritants and allergens from entering the skin

4. Nutten, S., Atopic dermatitis: global epidemiology and risk factors. Ann Nutr Metab, 2015. 66 Suppl 1: p. 8-16.

5. Bieber, T., Atopic dermatitis. Ann Dermatol, 2010. 22(2): p. 125-37.

6. Larsen FS, H.J., Epidemiology of Atopic Dermatitis. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am, 2002. 22: p. 1-24.

7. Koppes SA, C.F., Lammers LA, Frings-Dresen M, Kezic S, Rustemeyer T, Efficacy of a Cream Containing Ceramides and Magnesium in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Atopic Dermatitis: a  Randomized, Double-Blind, Emollient- and Hydrocortisone-Controlled Trial. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2016.

8. Simpson, E.L., et al., Emollient enhancement of the skin barrier from birth offers effective atopic dermatitis prevention. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2014. 134(4): p. 818-23.

9. International, O.P., A unique trademarked complex, MagneoLite as the key ingredient of the product. 2015.

10. Z, K.M.a.K., Multi-center clinical observation of contact eczema treatment., in Data on file. 2009.

11. Abbas, S., Childhood Eczema – a Holistic Approach Towards Healing: Eliminate & Prevent Childhood Eczema Naturally. 2015: Lulu Press Inc.


Solutions by Dermalex

Dermalex Eczema for Babies & Children

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Dermalex Atopic Eczema cream

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Dermalex Hand Irritation

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