Eczema or dermatitis is the medical term for a skin flare-up where patches of skin become itchy, red, dry, and inflamed, which affects people of all ages. Eczema is one of the most common reasons for dry, sensitive skin, and affects up to 20% of the population. Your eczema may flare up when your skin comes into contact with everyday things. This can be triggered by a reaction to substances that irritate your skin, or by sensitivity to specific substances that develop, over time, into an allergic reaction.
The first sign of irritation is usually itching and the most natural response is to scratch the more you scratch, the more you itch. This is known as the itch-scratch cycle and it is how a skin flare-up becomes established. The best way to break the itch-scratch cycle is to treat the irritation at the first sign of symptoms, or as soon as you can after onset. The earlier you start the treatment the more effectively you will be able to relieve the itching and clear the inflammation.