Atopic (allergy related) eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children but can also affect adults.


Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry, and cracked. It is a long-term (chronic) condition in most people. However, it can improve over time, especially in children. Picture of atopic eczema on back of the knees.

Backs or fronts of the knees (usually at the front in babies)

Back or front of the skin crease at the bend of the elbows (usually at the back in babies)

Around the neck, hands

Cheeks, calp (usually in babies) 

Signs of an infection 

Occasionally, areas of skin affected by atopic eczema can become infected. Signs of an infection can include:

your eczema getting a lot worse.

fluid oozing from the skin

a yellow crust on the skin surface or small yellowish-white spots appearing in the eczema.

the skin becoming swollen and sore.

a high temperature (fever) and generally feeling unwell.

See your doctor as soon as possible if you think your or your child's skin may have become infected.

People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable. There can also be times when symptoms become more severe (flare-ups).


There is currently no cure for atopic eczema. Treatment can help relieve the symptoms of atopic eczema. Many cases improve over time.

However, severe eczema often has a significant impact on daily life. There is also an increased risk of skin infections. 

Many different treatments can be used to control symptoms and manage eczema, including:

self-care techniques, such as reducing scratching and avoiding triggers.

emollients (moisturising treatments) used daily for dry skin.

topical corticosteroids – used to reduce swelling, redness and itching during flare-ups.

When do you get in touch with Sandsclinic?

We will usually be able to diagnose atopic eczema by looking at your skin and asking questions about your symptoms. You should tell your us if your condition is affecting your quality of life for example, if you have difficulty sleeping because of itching, or your eczema limits your everyday activities. We could prescribe the medications needed or refer to a dermatologist if needed.