Eczema usually becomes less severe in the teens, and may be completely "outgrown" around puberty.
The majority of people will remain symptom-free, apart from eczema on the hands due to contact with irritants such as detergents and oils. However, there may be a relapse in some patients around the age of 20.
The reason for this is unclear. If eczema continues into the third, fourth and fifth decade, it is commonly "outgrown" at menopause in females. It is rare for it to continue into old age, but when it does it is often severe and widespread.
Reviewed by Professor Sharon Kling, Clinical Unit Head, General Paediatrics, Intensivist at Tygerberg Hospital and Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at Stellenbosch University. February 2015.
Original article by Dr Harris Steinman, May 2007.