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In France, 2.5 million adults suffer from atopic dermatitis, which is a form of eczema, but also 10% to 15% of children under the age of 3 are affected by this skin condition, which may not be serious but can be severely debilitating. The prevalence of this chronic disease makes it a real public health problem. However, there are treatments that improve patients' symptoms and quality of life.

The different types of eczema

Dermatologists who are familiar with this condition categorise it into several types :

marque d'eczéma sur le genoux

Atopic eczema

  • This is the most common form, and it is the cutaneous manifestation of atopy, hence the name. It is sometimes associated with other disorders, such as asthma. It can appear on various areas of the body such as the face, hands, feet, arms, legs and sometimes on the trunk.

Contact dermatitis

  • This type of eczema appears following direct contact of the skin with an allergic or irritant product such as certain metals (jewellery containing nickel, etc.). Erythema (redness) appears on the area of skin in contact with the triggering agent. This redness disappears after the product is eliminated. This often affects hands that are exposed to different substances through handling, but contact dermatitis can also affect other areas, especially when allergenic or irritant substances are airborne (transported by air)

There are other types of eczema that are more rare.
These include

dyshidrose sur la main

Dyshidrotic eczema

Affects hands and feet only, and may be related to a contact allergy, fungal infection or even excess sweating.


la dermite de contact

Contact dermatitis

to plant or animal proteins, following an allergic reaction after contact with a food, triggering urticaria or even eczema.


eczéma variqueux

Varicose eczema

on the legs, often a consequence of untreated venous thrombosis.

eczéma nummulaire

Nummular eczema

or discoid eczema, recognisable by rounded plaques with a small surface.

Prevention and treatment of eczema.

The origin of atopic eczema is an anomaly in the formation of the skin. There is no cure, but symptomatic treatments are available to relieve symptoms :


crème anti-inflammatoire

Anti-inflammatory drugs

They are prescribed to treat affected skin areas. They are topically applied corticosteroids in the form of creams, ointments or lotions. The doctor will inform the patient where to apply it and the duration of the treatment. Usually, plaques react well and disappear by the end of the treatment when the instructions are correctly followed. However, they may reappear later due to the chronic nature and flare-up course of the disease. If the lesions persist, the dermatologist may need to adjust the treatment.


personne se mettant une crème émollient sur l'épaule


These may be creams, milks or balms, and they help to limit the reappearance of plaques by treating dry skin. By moisturising the skin, ideally every day, this will help protect the skin against penetration of irritants or allergens. Emollients restore the skin's barrier function.

salade composé avec des pavés de poissons dessus

Healthy lifestyle

It has been shown that a balanced diet, without excess, that is high in fibre and low in sugar, with an increased intake of certain nutrients and essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 rich in gamma-linoleic acid (AGL) can prevent the exacerbation of eczema outbreaks. These are found in flax oil, borage oil, nuts and oily fish. It is also possible to take them in food supplements.

Stress and atopic eczema

Stress is not the cause of atopic eczema, but it is an aggravating factor that can trigger a relapse. Also, learning to manage stress using various means or gentle techniques, such as relaxation and sophrology, can be a way to improve day-to-day life with skin that overreacts to its environment.


Discover our hydrotherapy for eczema

The Eczema Foundation

The Eczema Foundation, previously the Foundation for Atopic Dermatitis, was created in 2004 by Pierre Fabre, founder of the Laboratoires Pierre Fabre group that bears his name. It has general interest focus, through which it is committed to therapeutic patient education, information and research in the field of eczema.

In partnership with healthcare professionals and patient associations, the foundation has formed an alliance to alleviate the burden of patients living with this disease. Its goals are divided into various actions :

  • Supporting patients to take ownership of their disease.
  • Acting as the mediator of an alliance between patients and healthcare professionals.
  • Bringing together healthcare professionals and academics.
  • Contributing to a consensus-based approach to eczema shared and understood by all.
  • Passing on knowledge about eczema and raising awareness about this disease.
  • Participating in research around eczema.

For more information : www.pierrefabreeczemafoundation.org