Eczema is a chronic condition marked by rashes, swelling, scaly bumps, flaking and blistering on the outermost layer of the skin. Researchers are unsure of exactly what causes eczema, but genetics and environmental factors are believed to play strong roles. Treatment is aimed at minimizing both the frequency and severity of outbreaks, and the condition usually responds well to corticosteroids and/or the application of topical creams or ointments which suppress symptoms. Antihistamines and moisturizing creams also help in some cases. Since eczema is believed to be a type of autoimmune disorder, in which the body mistakenly interprets its own cells as intruders, triggering an unnecessary immune system response, systemic immunosuppressants are sometimes prescribed as well.