• Reviewed on 12/12
    By Dr. Boguniewicz

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): Symptoms

People with eczema tend to have dry, itchy and easily irritated skin. This can continue for years and may result in damage to the skin. They may have times when their skin is clear and other times when they have rash. 

  • In infants, the rash appears most often on the cheeks, scalp, and the extensor (outer) aspects of the knees and elbows. It typically spares the diaper area.
  • In children, the creases of the knees and elbows are commonly affected. Other sites include the neck and skin creases at the wrist and ankle and the top of the thighs.
  • In adults, the rash often appears in and around the creases of the arms and legs, although sometimes the hands and feet are the only affected areas.

Patients in any phase can sometimes develop a thickening of skin, called lichenification. However, this shows up more frequently in older children and adults than infants. In any phase, skin infections by bacteria and viruses can occur.

There are many things that worsen the itching and rash of eczema (atopic dermatits). These are different for each person. It's important to work closely with your healthcare provider to try to figure out what makes your itching, rash, and other symptoms worse.


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