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International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology

ECZEMA

A lay term that is derived from the Greek, meaning boiling over.  It can be pronounced as ec’ zema or ec zem’ a.

Eczema is synonymous with dermatitis and describes such skin conditions as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and neurodermatitis, where there may be redness, scaling, possibly lichenification (thickening of the skin), oozing and weeping.  A skin condition can be described as being eczematized.  An older synonym is tetter.

Lawrence Charles Parish, MD, MD (Hon)
Philadelphia, PA, USA

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