Symptoms of Eczema

Symptoms of eczema vary from one person to another and can change as a person ages. Babies and young children generally have eczema on their elbows, knees, scalp and faces. Older children and adults often have eczema on the hands, feet, arms, and the back of the knees.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dry, scaly patches
  • Red bumps with drainage and scabbing
  • Skin thickening
  • Redness and swelling of the skin
  • Large areas of discoloration of the skin
  • Sensitivity and tenderness
  • Infection when scratching breaks the skin

Complications of eczema include:

  • Dermatitis on the eyelids
  • Cataracts
  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Fatigue from disrupted sleep

Related Resources

  • Medical Outcomes Research in Eczema (MORE): MORE is a study of patient-centered outcomes in adults and children with eczema. Researchers in the Northwestern University Department of Dermatology are conducting this study. We want to hear what patients have to say about their eczema and what bothers them the most from having eczema. To participate in the survey you must be at least 18 years of age and have chronic eczema, or be the parent of a minor child with chronic eczema.
  • National Eczema Association: Improving the health and quality of life for individuals with eczema through research, support and education.
  • Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID): The SID mission is to advance and promote the sciences relevant to skin health and disease through education, advocacy and scholarly exchange of scientific information.
  • American Academy of Dermatology: Our mission is to promote leadership in dermatology and excellence in patient care through education, research and advocacy.
  • Severe Eczema in Children Linked to Multiple Comorbid Conditions: Researchers set out to determine the impact of eczema severity on the development of these disorders and other non-atopic comorbidities in atopic dermatitis. (The Dermatologist, September 2013)
  • Childhood Eczema May Last Into Adulthood: Study: Despite a widespread belief that childhood eczema clears up by adolescence, a new study suggests the condition often lasts until adulthood. (Reuters, April 2014)