Eczema may be considered as either endogenous or exogenous. The terms eczema and dermatitis are synonomous, although dermatitis is sometimes used to imply that the eczema has been caused by an external agent (exogenous). Endogenous eczemas include atopic eczema, seborrheic eczema, discoid eczema, pompholyx, and varicose eczema. Exogenous eczemas include both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as photodermatitis (caused by the interaction of light and chemicals absorbed by the skin).
Acute eczema presents as a pruritic erythematous confluent papular rash with an ill-defined border. There may be vesicles present, and if these rupture there may be exudation and "weeping." Chronic eczema tends to be erythematous, scaly, and is less likely to be vesicular. There may also be some degree of lichenification and fissuring.
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