Skin

Updated 22 February 2016

Can eczema be outgrown?

Eczema may be completely outgrown around puberty. It is rare for eczema to continue into old age.

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Eczema usually becomes less severe in the teens, and may be completely "outgrown" around puberty.

The majority of people will remain symptom-free, apart from eczema on the hands due to contact with irritants such as detergents and oils. However, there may be a relapse in some patients around the age of 20.

The reason for this is unclear. If eczema continues into the third, fourth and fifth decade, it is commonly "outgrown" at menopause in females. It is rare for it to continue into old age, but when it does it is often severe and widespread. 

Read more: 

What is eczema? 

Treating eczema? 

Causes of eczema

Reviewed by Professor Sharon Kling, Clinical Unit Head, General Paediatrics, Intensivist at Tygerberg Hospital and Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at Stellenbosch University. February 2015.

Original article by Dr Harris Steinman, May 2007.

 

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Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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