The word eczema comes from the Greek word ekzein which means “to boil”. It is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder and symptoms include dry, scaly, red itchy skin which in severe cases can weep and crust. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis which often occurs when there is a family history of allergies such as hay fever and asthma. In eczema too much moisture is lost from the epidermis leading to dry, itchy skin. Scratching can then damage the skin further and the skin can become infected. Eczema occurs mainly on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees and on the hands and feet.