Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin. Although the disorder can occur in many forms, it usually involves reddened, dry, itchy skin. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to various triggers. Patients with eczema tend to have very “sensitive skin” and therefore have to use specific products to help avoid potential flares. It is a disease process that often fluctuates in severity over time. Part of the treatment process is educating patients about avoiding potential triggers including stress, environmental factors (seasonal allergens, dust mites, pet dander, etc), excessive heat or sweating, harsh products including heavy fragrance and detergents or solvents, and excessively dry skin. There are many different treatments for eczema including topical corticosteroids and light therapy among others.