ADVANCED FOOT AND ANKLE SPECIALISTS, PA
Jay S. Weingarten, DPM, FACFAS, FACFAOM
Podiatric Physician and Surgeon
Board Certified Physician – Treating Pediatrics to Geriatrics
Eczema
Eczema Symptoms and Diagnosis
Could your itchy rash be a symptom of eczema? Perhaps. Eczema, also called dermatitis,
is a term that covers many types of inflammatory skin problems. The rashes tend to come
and go, and often run in families. Some experts estimate that eczema affects a third of the
world's people at some time in their lives. The best way to know for sure if you have
eczema is to see a doctor. Until you make that appointment, however, check out this list of
common eczema symptoms.
Common Eczema Symptoms
Symptoms of eczema often begin in babies. But children and adults can have eczema. No
two people have exactly the same eczema symptoms. The severity of eczema symptoms
also varies from person to person. In general, eczema symptoms often appear as skin
patches that can be:
Very itchy
Red
Dry
Swollen
Sore
With time, an eczema rash often becomes crusty and scaly. Some types of eczema can
also blister, weep, crack, or peel. An infection or too much scratching can make eczema
symptoms worse. Over time, scratching can even make the skin become thick and
leathery.
You can have eczema anywhere and everywhere, but eczema often appears as a rash on
the:
•
Insides of elbows
•
Backs of knees
•
Face, often on the cheeks
•
Behind the ears
•
Buttocks
•
Hands and feet
Sometimes, you may have other skin changes along with eczema, such as small raised
bumps or hives. Or, there may be an extra fold of skin under the eyes.
Possible Eczema Complications
Scratching too much can cause a break in the skin. This allows bacteria or viruses to enter
and can lead to infection. Sometimes, long-term use of medications to control eczema can
also cause complications.
Although eczema symptoms tend to subside as babies grow into children, people who had
eczema as infants are at higher risk for other skin problems throughout life. These might
include easily irritated skin, skin infections, or eyelid dermatitis.
Diagnosing Eczema
The best way to diagnose eczema is for a doctor to take thorough medical and family
histories. To confirm an eczema diagnosis, the doctor may ask about:
•
A history of asthma or allergic reactions, such as to pollen, pets, or certain
foods
•
Substances that irritate the skin such as soaps or cosmetics
•
Any recent extra stress
•
Where and when the symptoms appeared
•
Any treatment used for other skin conditions
The doctor can sometimes tell by looking at the rash whether or not it is eczema. But it
may take more than one visit to rule out other problems. The doctor might also refer you to
a specialist such as a dermatologist or allergist. Although there is no test for eczema,
allergy testing can help pinpoint any allergic triggers. Other common triggers include
irritants, heat, or emotions.
1233 SE Indian St., Suite 102, Stuart, FL 34997
tel. 772-223-8313, fax 772-223-8675
1106 W Indiantown Rd, Suite 4, Jupiter, FL 33458 tel. 561-744-6683, fax 561-744-7033
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Eczema - Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists