The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin
conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes
which are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding.
Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is believed to have a hereditary component, and often runs in families whose members also have hay fever and asthma.