Eczema Symptoms and Signs
Medical professionals sometimes refer to eczema as "the itch that rashes."
- Usually, the first symptom of eczema is intense itching.
- The rash appears later and is red and bumpy.
- The rash itches or burns.
- If it is scratched, it may ooze and become crusty.
- In adults, chronic rubbing produces thickened plaques of skin.
- Some people develop red bumps or clear fluid-filled bumps that look "bubbly" and, when scratched, add wetness to the overall appearance.
- Painful cracks can develop over time.
- Although the rash can be located anywhere on the body, in adults it is most often found on the neck, flexures of the arms (opposite the elbow), and flexures of legs (opposite the knee). Infants may exhibit the rash on the torso and face. As the child begins to crawl, the rash involves the skin of the elbows and knees. The diaper area is often spared.
- The itching may be so intense that it interferes with sleep.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2014
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