The word eczema comes from the Greek word ekzema which means to effervesce or bubble or boil over.
It's otherwise known as atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema.
The words eczema and dermatitis mean much the same. That is, an inflammation of the skin. There are two main types of dermatitis/eczema:
- Atopic eczema. This is caused by a problem from within the body. If you have atopic eczema you are born with a tendency for your skin to become inflamed. Various parts of the skin tend to flare up with inflammation from time to time.
- Contact dermatitis. This is caused by a substance from outside the body. This typically causes patches of inflammation on areas of skin which have come into contact with the substance. If you avoid the offending substance, the skin inflammation should go away.