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What is eczema?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that affects roughly 10% of adults in the UK.

Living with eczema can be physically and emotionally challenging, disrupting sleep and causing self-consciousness due to the visible symptoms.

If you think you might have eczema, don’t wait to see your doctor. Book an online consultation with a pharmacist to get the care and treatment you need.

Symptoms of eczema

Eczema is primarily known for causing red, itchy patches of skin. 

However, there are multiple symptoms to be aware of. These include:

  • Dry, itchy skin: leading to discomfort and sleep disturbances

  • Redness and inflammation: sometimes accompanied by a feeling of warmth in the affected area

  • Rash or bumps: eczema can cause fluid-filled blisters that can ooze and crust over

  • Scaly or cracked skin: scratching an area affected by eczema can cause the skin to have a scaly appearance, or begin cracking

  • Thickened skin: scratching the affected skin over a long period of time can cause the skin to thicken and feel rough or leathery to touch

Frequently asked questions about eczema

Why does eczema itch?

Eczema itches due to skin inflammation and dryness. Irritants and allergens worsen the itching sensation.

What does eczema feel like?

Eczema can feel like intense itching, burning, and discomfort. The skin may also feel dry, rough, and sensitive to touch.

Why is my eczema so bad?

Severe eczema can result from genetic factors, environmental triggers, compromised skin barrier, immune system issues, stress, and dietary factors.

A close up of a man's hands affected by eczema, he is picking at the affected skin.

Do you have eczema?

Don’t wait for a GP appointment.

Get advice & prescriptions from a trusted pharmacy now:
Complete an easy online questionnaire
Book a free video consultation with a pharmacist
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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.