Another word for eczema is dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin. Eczema causes your skin to be dry and itchy. Scratching makes your skin red and inflamed. Eczema is not contagious, and common causes include detergents, soaps, wool, and synthetic fibers. Eczema is common in babies and children, but can be seen at any age. The best treatment is avoiding substances that your skin is sensitive to.