Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin that is characterized by itching, redness and lesions/eruptions on the skin. Being fairly common, this affects almost 20% of children and 1-2 % of adults worldwide. Eczema can affect people belonging to any age group though it's more commonly seen in infants. In case of infants, the condition usually resolves by the age of 3 years but may continue into adulthood in few cases. This is no particular gender predilection seen in cases.
Eczema is not a life-threatening disease but it can have a significant impact on the life of the patient. The discomfort caused by the condition, an altered self image that the patient develops, anxiety about the nature of the disease, etc. are additional issues that the treating physician has to tackle besides the condition itself.
The disease itself has phases during which the symptoms get worse, then get better or resolve by themselves - thus it runs an unpredictable course in many people. However, timely detection and treatment can save a lot of trouble for the patients rather than ignoring the initial presenting symptoms.