What are the symptoms of eczema?

There are several symptoms of eczema. The most common are inflamed patches of skin that appear discolored (usually red, brown or gray) on hands, arms, or knees. These patches are accompanied by intense itching that is usually worse at night. Beyond inflammation, you may notice actual bumps filled with fluid. These can leak when scratched. It's common for your skin to become cracked and scaly, not to mention raw from all the scratching. Eczema can occur anywhere on your body, but occurs a little differently in infants, generally manifesting itself on the head as an oozing, crusty rash.

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Eczema is characterized by chronically itchy, inflamed skin. The skin is very red and scaly and may blister and ooze. Scratching and rubbing lead to darkened and hardened areas of thickened skin with accentuated furrows, most commonly seen on the inside of the wrists and elbows, on the face, and on the backs of the knees. Secondary infections of the skin can occur due to repeated scratching. Eczema can resolve and return, and many children seem to simply outgrow eczema.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

More About this Book

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Symptoms of eczema can include flaky skin, red skin, scaly and oozy skin, and skin that feels itchy and/or painful. Symptoms may vary depending on the type of eczema you have. Talk with your doctor about your eczema symptoms. 

Continue Learning about Eczema

Medications for Pediatric Eczema
Medications for Pediatric Eczema
Though pediatric eczema can be controlled for many patients, flare-ups can still occur, especially among children with moderate to severe pediatric ec...
Read More
How many people are affected by eczema?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Eczema is a very common skin condition that affects 10% to 20% percent of children and 1% to 3% perc...
More Answers
6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter
6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter
Temperature changes can make eczema worse. Here's how to avoid breakouts.
Start Slideshow
Tips to Manage Your Child's Eczema
Tips to Manage Your Child's Eczema

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.