Is Eczema Contagious?

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If you or a loved one suffers from eczema, you’re not alone. According to the National Eczema Association, about 31.6 million people in the United States, or about 10 percent of the U.S. population, have some form of eczema. And, according to the association, eczema tends to be more common in women than men.

“Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that can be caused by multiple things,” explains Rachel Prete, DO, a pediatrician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Florida who treats pediatric patients with eczema. “It’s a dryness of the skin that causes a redness and flaking.”

That eczema can be hereditary: Dr. Prete says there’s a genetic component to eczema, meaning that if your parents and siblings have the condition, you’re more likely to develop it yourself, too. In fact, a June 2017 study published in Nature Genetics found evidence that a single mutation in the CARD11 gene could be linked to eczema.