What is Eczema?

Eczema is a severe form of dry skin, often appearing as a red, itchy rash. People with eczema are usually diagnosed when they’re young. Symptoms can become less severe over time.

The word “eczema” comes from a Greek word meaning “to boil over,” which is a fitting description. Eczema is visible on the surface, manifesting itself in dry, itchy painful skin and discomfort, but it originates from deeper within.

Think of a boiling pot of liquid left on the stove. As the liquid boils over, it leaves streaks on the outside of the pot – imagine eczema is those streaks. Just like how those streaks can be cleaned off with the right products, so too, can eczema be soothed. However a longer-term solution is more in line with figuring out how to reduce the temperature of the stove – discovering what is happening inside that’s “boiling over” in the form of eczema.

Dealing with eczema is two-fold. The first thing you can do is soothe it when it appears, using products such as Comfort Bear Bar, Triple Cream, Cutemol, and Moisture-All. This will help you cope with the day-to-day irritations associated with eczema. At the same time, be sure to focus on the second part, which is a more long-term approach that involves seeking answers internally – figuring out how to reduce the temperature of the stove.  Too often, eczema is an external manifestation of something deeper.

Wellness Tip

The cold and dry air of winter can cause dry skin, which can worsen your eczema. In addition, indoor heat can make dry skin even drier.  Humidifiers can help restore moisture in your home.

Seeing Eczema

Eczema can look, feel, and appear different for each person.  Sometimes, it even varies between flare-ups for the same person.  Generally, people with dry, sensitive skin can be more susceptible to developing eczema.

Itching can be the worst part. Indulging in scratching your eczema can lead to bleeding, which leads to even more inflammation, which leads to skin damage and more severe eczema. It’s a vicious cycle of discomfort and pain.

Eczema is categorized by its severity and triggers, and is sometimes referred to as atopic dermatitis. Use the slider below to learn more.


The type and severity of eczema can show up differently for each person. These are just a few of the more common ways it presents itself.

  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Intense itching
  • Scaly, flaking skin
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling, crusting, oozing
  • Dark patches of skin

Because eczema can vary in its shape, size, and severity between incidents, you may suffer differently and/or have multiple symptoms throughout your experience with the condition.

If you have sensitive, dry skin that has worsened and any of the above symptoms, it could be eczema. You should treat your eczema both externally and internally.

Types of Eczema

Atopic Dermatitis is the most common form of eczema.  Atopic Dermatitis can occur at any age, but often starts in childhood.   This is the kind of dermatitis often affects people who have a family history of dry skin, asthma, hay fever, and/or common skin issues that allow too much moisture to escape – which lets skin dry faster and eczema to take form. It can appear on the face, hands, feet, inner elbows, and behind the knees.

Contact Dermatitis is the kind of eczema that can show up after a substance damages your skin, like chemicals or frequent hand washing. It can also occur when you come in contact with an allergen, like certain clothes, cosmetics, or plants.

Dyshidriotic Dermatitis is an eczema that appears on the hands and feet, showing up as severe itching that can blister, scale, and crack.  Dyshidriotic Dermatitis can be chronic and painful.  The cause is unknown.

Nummular Dermatitis is a kind of eczema that causes coin-shaped red marks on the legs, back of hands, forearms, lower back and hips. The cause is unknown, but some instances like exposure to certain chemicals, and cold weather can increase the likelihood of a flare- up.

Neurodermatitis occurs in areas that are habitually scratched. It usually does not spread, but the irritated skin can grow back thick and heavily wrinkled. Neurodermatitis often begins at particularly stressful times.

Seborrheic Dermatitis, commonly known as dandruff, is where the skin falls off in flakes.  In infants, it’s often just the scalp, but in adults it can also appear in the eyebrows, sides of the nose, behind the ears, groin, and chest.

Stasis Dermatitis can show up in people who have poor blood circulation in their legs. Stasis Dermatitis can cause the skin to crust and weep as well as, over time, stain in a brownish color.

Treating Eczema

You can soothe eczema with creams that moisturize and treat the affected areas. Also, be sure to identify and avoid your eczema triggers.

Summers Labs offers the following fine products to help moisturize and heal dry skin, soothe eczema, and prevent flare-ups:

Preventing Eczema


Be proactive with your eczema. Use hypoallergenic soaps, like Comfort Bear Bar, and healing moisturizers, like Triple Cream.


Keep calm. There’s an association between eczema flare-ups and anxiety, so be mindful of your emotions and aware of your personal triggers so you can lead a healthier life with healthier skin.


Find your triggers. They could be: cosmetics, soaps, detergents, diet, clothing, sweat, temperature, allergies, and/or stress.

Identify and avoid the things that bring about your eczema.