Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is a common skin problem that looks like a rash. It is often itchy. The skin becomes red and swollen when scratched. This may be a long-term condition. The eczema may get worse in the winter when the air is cold and dry. The dyes in lotions or soaps may make eczema worse. So can taking long hot showers or baths and washing your hands too much. Stress and contact with rough materials or chemicals can also make it worse. Some people have eczema that is affected by allergies or heredity. It is important to treat eczema as soon as possible. This may help keep it from getting worse. You cannot catch eczema from someone else. It is more common in babies and children, but adults may have it as well.