Skip to main content

What Does Eczema Look Like?


Symptoms of eczema

Eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects an estimated 30 percent of people in the U.S. It is caused by a genetic variation that limits the skin’s ability to protect itself against allergens, bacteria and other irritants. It can appear in children as young as 2 months old and can last through adulthood, sometimes going dormant for a number of years. So, if you have itchy, inflamed skin that you can’t get rid of, here are some signs that you might be dealing with eczema.

These are the most common signs and symptoms of eczema:

  • Brown-gray or red patches on skin: Eczema typically appears in patches on the skin, most frequently on the elbows, knees, feet, hands and face. It can, however, appear elsewhere on the body, including the eyelids, scalp and chest. These patches are generally a red or brownish hue.
  • Itchy Skin: Arguably the most frustrating part of eczema is its signature itch. Not only is the itching sensation itself an annoyance, but the temporary relief from scratching only perpetuates a cycle that worsens the condition. Often, this itching becomes worse at night.
  • Small, raised bumps on skin: A common symptom of eczema is that a number of small red welts will appear in the affected area and, when itched, will leak fluid. Generally, they will crust over if left alone.   
  • Dry, flaky, cracked, or scaly skin: One of the most commonly recognized symptoms of eczema is dry, scaly skin. When itched, the flakes generally become worse and the skin can become raw.  

While eczema cannot be cured, there are a number of treatments in the forms of lotions and creams.

Consider trying AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, the No. 1 dermatologist-recommended, over-the-counter eczema moisturizer brand.

If your condition worsens, you have trouble sleeping or your dry patches become infected, seek medical attention. If your child begins to show these symptoms, visit your pediatrician to ensure there’s no other underlying cause.  

For more body care tips and additional skincare information, learn more within the Beauty Solutions section of HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®.

Links to third-party sources in this content are provided are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. This article includes information from the Mayo Clinic, the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Institutes of Health.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2018

Treatments for dandruff

5 Treatments for Dandruff

Here are five types of dandruff-treatment ingredients to look for in anti-dandruff shampoos

8 tips for getting healthy winter skin

8 Keys to Healthy Winter Skin

These little changes can make a big difference — and they just might change the way you think about winter skin, forever.