Atopic dermatitis (also known as, Eczema*) is a chronic or recurrent inflammatory skin disease. The word “atopic” means that there is typically a genetic tendency toward allergic disease. Atopic dermatitis usually begins in the first few years of life and is often the initial indication that a child may later develop asthma and/or allergic rhinitis (hay fever). In infants, eczema usually appears as tiny bumps on the cheeks. Older children and adults often experience rashes on the knees or elbows (often in the folds of the joints), on the backs of hands or on the scalp.