Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked.
Atopic eczema is more common in children, often developing before their first birthday. However, it may also develop for the first time in adults.
It's usually a long-term (chronic) condition, although it can improve significantly, or even clear completely, in some children as they get older.
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it's clear it is not down to one single thing. Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies – "atopic" means sensitivity to allergens.
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