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Is Eczema Contagious

Eczema is a skin disease which leads to skin rash. Read on to find all the facts about eczema, and whether it is contagious or not!
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Eczema is a skin allergy in which the skin becomes red, itchy and sometimes even scaly. It is a mild inflammation of the skin which can be chronic as well as acute. In serious cases, pimples and blisters develop on the skin which discharge pus, and also cause a lot of discomfort. The red and itchy patches usually appear on the face, chest, wrist, elbow and ankles. This skin disease is caused due to any environmental irritants. It is also proven that a person with a family history of eczema has high chances of developing this disease.
An Overview on Eczema
Like any other skin disease, eczema can appear during any phase of a person's life, like infancy, childhood, teenage, adulthood and even old age. More commonly, it is observed in childhood and can last for the later part of the person's life. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common type of eczema, whose exact cause is yet unknown. But, there are several factors that are believed to worsen the itching caused by eczema. For e.g., stress is considered as one of the major contributing factor in worsening eczema, but, it is not the cause of it. Secondly, if a person already suffers from other allergies like food allergy or allergy to smoke, dust and other pollutant; exposure to these irritants also worsen the symptoms of eczema. Another thing that one should remember is that although eczema appears similar to allergy and acne, the nature of both these skin disorders is different. Many people are found to hold back from a person suffering from skin diseases due to the fear that they may be contagious.
Is Eczema Communicable
Well, the answer to the above question is an emphatic 'NO', eczema is not contagious. Although it is considered a genetic disorder, it is not contagious, i.e., it does not spread from an affected person to the normal one. Families of people suffering from eczema lead a normal life and do not contract the disease, ever in their lives. As the cause of eczema is also related to the immune system and its responses, there is no way this skin disease can be transmitted from one person to the other. Therefore, shaking hands, talking, or even living with a person suffering from eczema cannot put you on a risk of contracting the disease. On the other hand, there are high chances of the disease passing to the person's direct descendant.
Eczema Treatment
Eczema appears in intervals and can flare up only when exposed to irritants. Symptoms appearing on flaring of eczema vary from person to person. In some people, blisters appear which a discharge of fluid on scratching, whereas in others, the skin becomes over scaly and dry. It is unfortunate that there is no permanent cure available for eczema. However, there are several treatment methods available that can help in alleviating the symptoms and itchiness. If one observes any symptoms of eczema, he should immediately consult the doctor or a dermatologist. He will prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms or even give ointments to soothe the itchiness.
As a preventive method, one should identify whether he is suffering from any allergy or not and try to stay away from the allergens. Secondly, one should also reduce stress, and try to remain calm and happy so as to not trigger off the itchiness and discomfort. And now that you know that eczema is not contagious, I hope you will not shy away from a person suffering from it. Take care!