Eczema is a broad term for several inflammatory skin conditions that cause symptoms such as itching, scales, irritation and redness, according to WebMD. Eczema also causes skin rashes that ooze and crust over. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a skin condition linked to allergies and asthma.
The specific cause of eczema is not known, but allergens such as pet dander and pollens are believed to trigger or exacerbate atopic eczema symptoms, explains the National Eczema Association. Chemical irritants such as perfumed soaps and disinfectants may also worsen symptoms. Additional potential allergic triggers include foods such as nuts and dairy products, excess stress, and hormonal fluctuations.