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Is eczema contagious?

eczema-is-not-contagiousIs eczema contagious is a common question, but eczema is not contagious and people can therefore not “catch” eczema.

Eczema, like many other skin conditions, can become infected with bacteria or viruses. Once this happens other people can potentially “catch” the infection, but not the eczema! Eczema itself is not contagious.

The most common infection in eczema is with the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus. The chances of catching the bacterium from someone with infected eczema is small. Immunosuppressed people, people with eczema or people with frequent, intimate contact with Staphylococcus Aureus infected eczema will have a greater chance of catching the bacterium.

If you have eczema, don’t be overly concerned about catching an infection, because secondary infections are normally simple to treat. The only exception to this will be when a Herpes virus or Molluscum contagiosum virus infects eczema. Eczema Herpeticum is the medical term for eczema infected with the Herpes virus. This can be a serious condition that often results in admission to hospital. Luckily, Eczema Herpeticum is very rare. Eczema infected with the Molluscum contagiosum virus occurs most often in children and does not normally result in serious illness.

Again, people might catch an infection from someone with eczema, but eczema itself is not contagious!