What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Eczema
The signs of eczema :
- are mainly dry, itchy skin. Because it is so itchy, it is often called “the itch that rashes.”
- include redness, scales, and bumps that can leak fluid and then crust over
- tend to come and go. When they get worse, it is called a flare-up.
- may be more noticeable at night
Symptoms can vary:
- Infants younger than 1 year old usually have the eczema rash on their cheeks, forehead, or scalp. It may spread to the knees, elbows, and trunk .
- Older kids and teens usually get the rash in the bends of the elbows, behind the knees, on the neck, or on the inner wrists and ankles. Their skin is often scalier and drier than when the eczema first began. It also can be thicker, darker, or scarred from all the scratching .
Viral Rashes Measles Chickenpox And Shingles
Common viral rashes are caused by measles, chickenpox and shingles. Measles and chickenpox are childhood infections but adults who did not get immunized against chickenpox can get shingles.
Infection signs common with viruses include.
- It may be severe or high
- Runny nose
- A cough
Viral rashes are contagious in different stages. The viruses can be spread from an infected person to another by skin contact, sneezing, or coughing.
There is an increased infection risk if for example your child did not get immunized.
For instance, the measles rash develops inside the mouth before spreading to the rest of the body including the face, neck, arms and legs. Usually, measles causes itchy red spots. Other remarkable symptoms include high fever, extremely runny nose, cough and watery red eyes.
Shingles are common in adults and normally causes itchy red bumps on the skin.
Treatment, remedies and vaccinations for viral rashes
Most human viral infections do not have known cures. However, there is a need to see your doctor and check out the symptoms. Thereafter, your doctor will give medicines to relieve symptoms such as fever, itching, coughing, etc.
Recommended Reading: Is There A Way To Cure Eczema
Oral Or Injected Immunosuppressants
Oral immunosuppressant medications prevent the bodys immune system from sending an inflammatory response to the skin, which results in less itching, redness, and rash.
Immunosuppressant medications are available in varying strengths, and doctors determine the dosage based on your age, severity of symptoms, location and extent of the rash, your weight, and whether you have other medical conditions. Typically, these medications are taken once or twice daily, although the dosage can vary.
If eczema or dermatitis is severe, a doctor may recommend immunosuppressant medication that is injected into the skin. Your dermatologist determines the appropriate schedule of injections. He or she may administer the injections in a doctors office or show you how to do it so you can inject the medication at home.
Dermatologists may prescribe immunosuppressant medication for weeks or months or until symptoms of eczema or dermatitis are under control. Often, our doctors may reduce or stop a prescription at that time to see whether symptoms can be managed using topical medication, , or at-home therapies.
In some instances when symptoms cant be relieved by other treatments, therapy with immunosuppressant medications may continue for years. Your doctor can discuss side effects of immunosuppressant medications.
Also Check: What Can You Put On Eczema On Eyelids
Also Check: Can You Develop Eczema At Any Age
One Last Thing About Taming Eczema Symptoms With A Smart Skin
Remember that eczema symptoms may change as you age, as the AAD notes. Check in regularly with your dermatologist, who can help keep your eczema skin-care routine individualized, introduce you to newer treatment products, and help you sort through cleansers and moisturizers to find the best ones for you.
Additional reporting by .
See A Doctor If Otc Moisturizers Dont Work
Applying moisturizer twice a day, especially after cleansing your face, helps your skin retain moisture. If over-the-counter moisturizing creams dont work, or if your facial eczema doesnt respond to self-treatment, see a doctor.
Your doctor might recommend other therapies, including:
- prescription topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- prescription antihistamine
You May Like: Is Eczema A Sign Of Pregnancy
Skin Care For Facial Eczema
Moisturize. The best way to keep your skin from drying out is with thick creams and ointments , not with thinner lotions. The best time to do this is right after you wash your face. If ointments are too greasy for your face, try using them only at night.
Clean gently. Soap can irritate your skin, but washing with water alone may not be enough, especially if your face is oily. Use a gentle non-soap cleanser or a medical emollient instead. Pat dry with a soft towel.
Watch the temperature. Use only cool — not hot — water on your face, and for as little time as possible.
Skip makeup.Donât use cosmetics on irritated skin.
How Is Dermatitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of dermatitis such as a rash, redness, scales, dryness and more. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing. Are you itchy? Does your skin feel like its burning? Is your skin dry? Have you come into contact with anything that might irritate your skin?
You May Like: Is Blue Star Ointment Good For Eczema
You May Like: What Causes Eczema In Toddlers
Bathing Moisturizing And Wet Wraps
People with eczema tend to have very dry skin in general. This is because the disease causes defects in the stratum corneum, or the skin barrier. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin that serves a dual purpose: it protects irritants, bacteria, viruses and allergens from getting into our bodies and it keeps moisture from getting out. Genes, skin trauma such as from scratching or rubbing and inflammation caused by the immune system can all contribute to this defective or leaky skin barrier in people with eczema.
The most effective way to treat dry itchy skin is to give it the moisture it needs and help it to retain it. Proper bathing and moisturizing are important for this reason especially if you have eczema. The best way to replace and retain moisture in the skin is to moisturize immediately after taking a bath or shower. Download our step-by-step eczema care fact sheet.
How Do Other Treatments Compare To Biologics
Biologics for eczema can be very effective, but theyre typically offered only when a person has moderate to severe symptoms that havent gone away with other treatments.
Dermatologists typically prescribe at-home measures, like applying moisturizer or topical calcineurin inhibitors and avoiding known eczema triggers. They may also recommend short-term courses of corticosteroid cream or ointment as the first-line treatment for eczema.
Over-the-counter antihistamines can also help relieve itching. For many people, that can be enough to ease occasional flare-ups and soothe symptoms.
If those eczema treatments dont work, a dermatologist may prescribe a systemic treatment, such as:
- JAK inhibitors
- mycophenolate mofetil
Most systemic therapies work by suppressing the immune system. While that can help reduce eczema symptoms, it can make it harder for your body to fight other illnesses and infections.
Biologics for eczema are different in that they target a specific component of the immune system, rather than the entire system. They also dont contain steroids. However, biologics can also cause some side effects, so its important to weigh the risks and benefits of any medication with a healthcare professional.
While taking biologics, you can still use topical corticosteroids as needed. You can also use topical calcineurin inhibitors on parts of the skin affected by eczema. Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking other medications.
Don’t Miss: Eczema Rash Cream For Babies
What Causes Eczema Flare
A long list of factors can cause eczema to flare up. It could be anything that activates the immune system or anything you come in contact with, says Sadati. Among these triggers are food, the environment, weather, and, most commonly: stress. In fact, in a National Eczema Society landmark patient survey conducted in 2020, stress was identified as the single biggest trigger of eczema flare-ups. Interestingly enough, far more women were affected than men .
The silver lining? Face flare-ups typically dont last as long as ones on the body, notes Akhavan. They can still last a few weeks, he explains, but that time can be shortened with the help of proper treatment.
Balancing The Skins Acidity Levels
Vinegar is highly acidic. The skin is naturally acidic, but people with eczema may have less acidic skin than others, which can weaken the skins defenses.
Applying diluted apple cider vinegar could help balance the skins acidity levels, but vinegar can cause burns if it is not diluted.
In contrast, many soaps, detergents, and cleansers are alkaline. They can disrupt the acidity of the skin, which can leave the skin vulnerable to damage. This may explain why washing with certain soaps can cause eczema flares.
Don’t Miss: Best Body Wash For Eczema
What If None Of That Works
If all else fails, its time to head to the dermatologist. Schedule a consult with a board-certified dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis, Shah says. If your dermatologist does end up saying that OTC products simply wont cut it for your complexion concerns, theyll be able to prescribe you a treatment on the spot, navigating you one step closer to the redness- and irritation-free complexion of your dreams.
What Are Symptoms Of Eczema On The Face
Symptoms of eczema on the face include:
- Intense skin itching
- Itching may be worse at night
- Scratching may aggravate inflammation and itching
- Oozing, bleeding, or crusting may occur on areas that are scratched open
- Pustules, blisters, and red-hot skin if a secondary infection occurs
- Thickened and darkened, or even scarred, skin can occur from repeated scratching
Recommended Reading: Best Moisturizer For Eczema On Eyelids
Should I Treat Facial Eczema Differently Than I Would Eczema On My Body
Yes. Both Sadick and Shah recommend using milder products on your face because the skin is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your body. I would use eczema skin-care products designed for face and body respectively as they contain different concentrations of active ingredients, says Sadick.
Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., recommends using weaker topical steroids or steroid-sparing ingredients, like pimecrolimus, tacrolimus, and crisaborol, as he says, facial skin is more sensitive to the skin thinning and lightening effect of topical steroids.
How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your child’s skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that “breathe,” such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your child’s fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
Read Also: Are Saunas Good For Eczema
How Is Eczema Treated
There is no cure for eczema. But treatments can help with symptoms. The doctor will recommend different treatments based on how severe the symptoms are, the child’s age, and where the rash is. Some are “topical” and applied to the skin. Others are taken by mouth.
Topical moisturizers. Skin should be moisturized often . The best time to apply moisturizer is after a bath or shower, with the skin patted dry gently. Ointments and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.
Topical corticosteroids, also called cortisone or steroid creams or ointments. These ease skin inflammation. It’s important not to use a topical steroid prescribed for someone else. These creams and ointments vary in strength, and using the wrong strength in sensitive areas can damage the skin, especially in infants.
Other topical anti-inflammatory medicines. These include medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts.
Medicine taken by mouth. These can include antihistamines to help itchy kids sleep better at night, antibiotics if a rash gets infected by bacteria, and corticosteroid pills or other medicines that suppress the immune system.
Other types of treatment can include:
- wet wraps: damp cloths placed on irritated areas of skin
- bleach baths: bathing in very diluted bleach solution
What Causes Facial Eczema
This is where it gets a little complicated. There are several types of eczema, Shah says. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form, and often when people say eczema this is the condition they are referring to.
Atopic dermatitis is chronic, meaning that it comes and goes over a long period of time, according to the National Eczema Association. It’s generally caused by genetics, and can flare up in the face, arms, legs, and other parts of the body.
Another type of facial eczema: contact dermatitis. This is a form of eczema that is triggered by one specific irritant, like extreme weather, super-hot showers, skincare ingredients, laundry detergents, fragrancesthe list goes on. What triggers eczema in one person may not irritate another persons skin at all.
Also Check: Is Aquaphor Good For Eczema
Eczema On The Face Vs The Body
Even though all of our experts agree that the general signs and symptoms of eczema will be the same regardless of where it appears on your bodyface includedthere are some key differences that are important to be aware of. Hartman explains, “Eczema can affect any part of the body, most commonly the bends of the arms and legs, the hands and the neck. But it can also affect the face, usually on the cheeks. The presentation is the same dry, red, itchy patches that start to thicken the skin the longer its present and the more scratching that takes place.”
As Wheeler explains, eczema on the face can be more difficult to manage since the skin is more sensitive and we tend to apply more products that might trigger a flare-up. This, for example, would require a different treatment strategy than a type of eczema on the hands called pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema which, Bae says, presents itself as deep-seated blisters.
“You can also get nummular eczema, which looks like a coin-shaped rash on the body. Plus, since many patients with eczema scratch and rub the areas affected, it’s not uncommon for the skin to appear thickened and/or sometimes darker in some areas of the body and face than others,” says Bae.
How To Treat Eczema On The Face
When you have eczema on the face, natural treatments are a better first line of defense because these products will not aggravate or strip the skin. The last thing you want to do is put cortisone on your face because cortisone, over time, thins the skin. It may stop the itching temporarily, but you will need to keep applying it, and over many years of use your skin cells will become weakenednot a good option for your face.
Also Check: Eczema Cream Starts With T
Tips For Bathing And Moisturizing With Eczema
Although there have not been comparative studies to pinpoint the best frequency or duration of bathing, the Soak and Seal method of treating eczema is recommended by many healthcare providers to combat dry skin and reduce flares.
To get the full therapeutic benefit of Soak and Seal, follow these steps in order:
- Bathe or shower in lukewarm water for a short period of time at least once per day.
- Avoid scrubbing your skin with a washcloth or loofah.
- Use a gentle cleanser that is unscented, fragrance-free and dye-free.
- Lightly pat dry with a towel leaving the skin damp. Do not rub the skin.
- Apply prescription topical medication to the affected areas of skin as directed.
- Liberally apply a high-oil content moisturizer all over the body to seal in moisture. Try to do this within 3 minutes to limit the amount of moisture lost from the skin.
Let the moisturizer absorb into the skin for a few minutes before dressing or applying wet wraps. Wear cotton gloves over your hands while you sleep to help lock in the moisturizer and prevent scratching. Visit our Product Directory for a list of cleansers and moisturizers that fulfill the requirements of NEAs Seal of Acceptance program.
What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
Read Also: What Does An Eczema Rash Look Like