Eczematous dermatitis is a common condition that can interfere with social function, sleep and employment. Its persistence and accompanying pruritus may be stressful and frustrating for patients. The most common and best characterized type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, appears to be increasing in incidence. Other common eczematous dermatoses, particularly allergic dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis, must be accurately diagnosed, since improvement and resolution rely on appropriate diagnosis and avoidance of pertinent triggering factors. Principles of treatment include general skin care, patient education about avoidance of irritants, skin hydration and the use of topical corticosteroids when necessary. Use of systemic corticosteroids is not generally recommended for the treatment of chronic eczematous dermatitis.

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