8 things you should know about eczema

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Eczema — a condition that causes dry, itchy, inflamed skin — might not sound serious. But it’s more than just an annoyance. It’s a life-altering. And it’s not just a childhood disease. While many people outgrow the condition, about 20% see it persist as they age.

“It’s not just a little rash. It’s a disease that needs to be treated. If you don’t treat it you can land in the hospital,” says Lisa Choy of Marin County, California. Choy, 63, has been battling the condition since age 7 and says her eczema has become increasingly worse as she gets older.

8 things you should know about eczema

Here’s what you need to know about the condition.

1. Eczema is more common than you think

About 16.5 million adults have atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.

2. It’s linked with a range of other health conditions

Adults with atopic dermatitis are at higher risk of diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If they are hospitalized, they are at higher risk of infection.

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