Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th grade November 1996

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Eczema is a category of skin disease that is characterized by

inflammation, itching, dry scaly skin, and in severe cases, small fluid filled

blisters and insomnia. It is the most common skin disease in children today.

Mild cases of Eczema are a little worse than a tendency toward dry, itching skin.

Severe cases can effect the whole body, can be intensely itchy, uncomfortable,

and even have an effect on the person in a psychological manner due to

self-consciousness. Eczema sufferers have acute flare-ups or relapses of their

chronic disease that can be annoying, itchy, and very uncomfortable.


Eczema is not a contagious skin disease, but it does effect around 1 in 10

people. Its causes aren't fully understood yet, but eczema seems to occur in

people with family or personal history of allergic asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis,

food allergies, icthyosis vulgaris, and keratosis pilaris.

Eczema has always

seemed to be a genetic skin disease, but until recently the researchers have

been unable to identify a specific gene involved in the passing on of eczema.

Now, doctors believe they have found a gene that causes eczema, but since it is

not present in all cases of eczema, they believe that there is more than one gene

that can cause eczema. Also, a maternal pattern of inheritance has been

discovered. Doctors and researchers believe that this maternal inheritance

pattern is due to modification in the immune responses in utero, or via breast



There is no way to absolutely "cure" eczema although, many treatments

have been found to be effective. Now, with the wonderful discovery of one of the

genes that may cause eczema, who knows what will happen. They are working

on ways to permanently rid people of eczema...