Understanding Eczema -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Eczema?

Almost always, your skin will itch before a rash appears in eczema.

Typically, eczema shows itself as:

  • Patches of chronically itchy, dry, thickened skin, usually on the hands, neck, face, and legs (but it can occur anywhere). In children, the inner creases of the knees and elbows are often involved.
  • If scratched, dry patches of skin and open sores with crusts may develop and may get infected.

Call Your Doctor About Eczema If:

  • You develop an itchy rash and have a family history of eczema or asthma.
  • The inflammation doesn't respond within a week to treatment with over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams. You may need more aggressive forms of treatment.
  • You develop yellowish to light brown crust or pus-filled blisters over existing patches of eczema. This may indicate a bacterial infection that should be treated with an antibiotic.
  • During a flare-up of eczema, you are exposed to anyone with a viral skin disease such as cold sores or genital herpes. Having eczema puts you at increased risk of contracting the herpes simplex virus.
  • You develop numerous painful, small, fluid-filled blisters in the areas of eczema. You may have eczema herpeticum, a rare but potentially serious complication caused by the herpes simplex virus.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on March 13, 2015

Sources

SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology.

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