Eczema is a common skin condition that causes redness, itchiness, and swelling. Patients may also have rough, cracked skin. Children who develop the condition may outgrow it during their childhood. However, others may continue to suffer their whole lives. Treatment options are fairly simple and include creams and ointments, warm baths and humidity. Although it is not usually painful, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing when it is in more noticeable parts of the body.
The most noticeable symptom when a person has eczema is the rash. This rash is typically most prominent on the neck and behind the knees and the elbows. This rash may not be extremely painful, but it can most definitely be uncomfortable. Over-the-counter topical treatments or prescription strength treatments can help with the rash. The rashes typically consist of small, red bumps, and they can cover only a small area or may be more widespread or in multiple places at one time.
When a rash becomes more intense, there may be a fluid that oozes from it at times. This is most likely to happen when the patient has been scratching the rash, but may also occur without reason. This fluid can then crust up, making a hard layer around the edges of the rash or across its surface. Physicians may prescribe a topical medication to help ease the pain and any other side effects when this occurs.
Sometimes people have referred to eczema as "the itch that creates a rash." In other words, the itching is the most prominent early warning symptom, and it even sometimes comes before the rash. However, the rash may be forming, but the red bumps often associated with eczema may not have risen from the skin just yet. The rash may vary in intensity depending on the patient.
Many diseases and disorders list insomnia as a frequent symptom. In fact, insomnia is a serious condition in its own right. It is also one of the symptoms of eczema. This is generally related to the pain and discomfort from the rash. Conditions that create an itching sensation worsen at night, making it very difficult to get a good night's sleep. There is a wide variety of over-the-counter medications available to assist with insomnia. This symptom should pass with treatment of the rash itself as well.
Eczema creates the perfect conditions for dry skin to develop. Eczema prevents the skin from staying properly hydrated. The medications used to treat it often dry out the skin as well. Moisturizers for sensitive skin may help improve dry skin; however, in extreme cases, doctors may prescribe stronger moisturizers to combat dryness.
Another symptom of eczema is what appears to be scales across the top layer of the skin. This is a version of extremely dry skin, which may spread across the skin in patches or particular areas. As with any other form of dry skin, try to keep hydrated, both internally and externally. Drink plenty of water, and be sure to use a moisturizer that will not burn or irritate the skin. Also, be sure not to scratch at the scales. This will only create more itching, and it will cause the scales to begin to flake.
Eczema can cause the eyes to become red and itchy, leading to swelling below the eyes. Depending upon the intensity of the itching and the swelling, this can affect the vision of the eczema sufferer. You should try not to rub the eyes, even if the itching becomes very uncomfortable. This can lead to even more irritation, as well as possibly injuring or scratching the eyes. A medical professional may prescribe eye drops to help lessen the effects caused by eczema.
Nausea can be an early warning sign of many conditions, ranging from the flu to other more serious diseases. Crediting this symptom to eczema can be difficult for this very reason. Nausea is typically due to pain and discomfort caused by the rash. Diarrhea and vomiting may occur as a result of nausea.
Another warning symptom that you may be experiencing eczema is that your skin becomes prone to infection. Of course, the more intense a rash becomes, the more the patient may scratch and pick at it. However, the more scratches and abrasions there are around the rash, the more likely it is for infection to occur. It can be very common for rashes to become infected. Topical ointments and medications can help keep the infection at bay.
Having any skin problem that is visible to others can create anxiety and depression. Patients may begin to avoid social gatherings because of embarrassment. A person may start skipping activities that they once looked forward to, withdrawing from events where people may notice their condition. Patients may need to seek mental health assistance should this occur.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.