What is eczema? Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common chronic skin condition marked by itching, inflammation, redness and swelling of the skin. Eczema is a form of dermatitis. Eczema itself is not dangerous, and it is not contagious. Eczema is an allergic condition that is most common in babies and children and usually resolves by adulthood. Eczema occurs when skin is more sensitive to certain substances than normal. The appearance, severity, symptoms and triggers of eczema vary between individuals. There is currently no cure for eczema, but eczema can be controlled with regular medical care and a good treatment plan. Some types of eczema can be prevented by avoiding stress, irritants, and things that cause allergic reactions. Eczema is generally not a serious condition, but there is a potential for complications, such as a secondary bacterial or fungal infection of the eczema rash. Seek prompt medical care if you have symptoms of eczema. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce your risk for complications.