Eczema is a skin condition that makes your skin inflamed, red and itchy. It is most seen in infants, but it can occur in people of any age.
Eczema symptoms depend on the age of the person as well as on the type of eczema the person is suffering from. Therefore, eczema signs and symptoms vary from person to person.
The eczema symptoms common to most forms of eczema are as follows:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Redness, heating-up and swelling on the affected area
- Skin eruptions, usually multiple small ones
- Occasional oozing of thin, watery fluid from the eruptions
- Chronic scratching, which may lead to thickening of skin in the affected area
- Darkening of skin in long standing cases
- Crust formation
Skin lesions are a common eczema symptom. They may take the form of rashes, bumps, cysts, blisters, pus-filled sacs, swelling, discolorations, hardening or any other change in or on your skin. People may experience lesions on any part of the body, but these signs of eczema are generally seen in the areas mentioned below:
- Knees, elbows, ankles (especially on the inner sides)
- Arms and legs
- Face and neck
- Folds of the skin
Eczema Symptoms in Infants
The following eczema symptoms are usually seen in children less than 2 years of age:
- Rashes on the cheeks and scalp
- Rashes that tend to bubble-up before leaking fluid
- Rashes that can cause excessive itching, which may pose difficulties in sleeping
Eczema Symptoms in Children
The following eczema symptoms are generally observed in children aged 2 and above:
- Rashes that appear on the wrists, neck, ankles and the crease between the legs and buttocks
- Rashes that appear behind the creases of elbows or knees
- Bumpy rashes
- Rashes that can grow darker or lighter
- Skin thickening, also known as lichenification, which can later develop into a permanent itch
Eczema Symptoms in Adults
The following eczema symptoms are commonly seen in adults:
- Extremely dry skin on the affected areas
- Rashes that are scalier than the ones seen in children
- Rashes that generally appear in the creases of the knees, elbows or the nape
- Rashes that cover most of the body
- Rashes that are permanently itchy
- Skin infections
Living with Eczema
All chronic or long-lasting skin diseases have a considerable impact on the psyche of the person and eczema is no exception. Some of the emotional symptoms noticed in people suffering from eczema are as listed below:
- Embarrassment and self-consciousness that patients experience due to visible eczema symptoms.
- Continuous itching disturbs the everyday life of adults and children alike, which can negatively impact work, sleep and other essential activities.
- Eczema lesions may let out a foul-smelling discharge, which can cause embarrassment.
- Contact eczema can prevent people from doing daily chores like washing utensils, clothes and so on, thereby making it difficult to manage day-to-day responsibilities.
- Lack of sleep, decreased productivity at home and at work
- Higher health costs and more health-related problems
- Adults with eczema feel embarrassed of themselves and fear social interactions
- Erythroderma (severe inflammation of most of the body's skin surface)
- Offensive discharge
- Lichenification (thickening of the skin)
- Post inflammatory de-pigmentation