What’s the difference between eczema and atopic dermatitis?
I often get confused because people use these two terms interchangeably. Are they referring to the same condition?
Yes and no. Eczema is defined as a chronic itchy inflammatory skin disease. There are many causes for eczema and it is labelled accordingly. For example, if it is due to an irritating environmental cause, it can be called contact eczema.
Atopy is a group of diseases including eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma. We use the terms “atopic dermatitis” and “eczema” interchangeably as most eczema patients have a genetic predisposition for atopy or have eczema together with asthma and or allergic rhinitis.
To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!
Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre