Just about anything that causes a red, inflamed itchy patch on your skin is labeled as eczema. Dandruff and cradle cap are considered to be forms of eczema as is poison ivy or poison oak. When you stop to consider how many different types of eczema there are, then you can imagine how varied the eczema symptoms may be.
According to some sources there are over 75 different symptoms of eczema. However, for the purposes of this article only the most basic and easily recognizable symptoms will be discussed. These include:
- Itching. Almost every type of eczema causes itching. In many cases, the itching may actually begin before you see any sign of redness or swelling. In fact, if you can avoid scratching and treat the itch while moisturizing the skin at the site of the itch you have a chance of heading off a full outbreak of your eczema.
- Dry patches often accompanied by redness or discoloration. One of the tell tale signs of eczema symptoms are dry patches that appear on your skin. There may be a single patch or several depending on the severity of the outbreak. In most cases, the dry patch is often red or paler than your normal skin color. These patches normally appear on the face, neck and inside of the elbows, knees and ankles. In infants and children, it is not unusual for these dry patches to also appear on the scalp, chest or cheeks.
- Inflammation. Another eczema symptom is inflammation of the dry patch. These patches may appear slightly swollen and can even be warm to the touch.
- Some types of eczema have eczema symptoms in the form of bumps, circles and even blisters while others may even have oozing lesions.
- In some instances, the itching is also painful.
Depending on the person and the severity of the eczema symptoms they may last from just a few hours to days and even longer. Scratching the dry patches can result in more inflammation and the break out lasting longer than it might have lasted otherwise.
There is no cure for eczema. Treatment entails striving to prevent breakouts and treating the eczema symptoms when breakouts do occur. In most cases, the most successful treatment of your eczema will be a combination of what you do at home, doctor and dermatologist care and sometimes seeing an allergist to help pinpoint allergens that might be causing your eczema to flare up.
In many cases the combined efforts of all involved often results in completely alleviating flare ups while in other cases flare ups occur less often and prompt treatment results in reduced symptoms lasting for shorter and shorter durations. Learning the symptoms that are associated with this condition will enable you to begin treatment promptly, which may prevent a full-blown attack.
In any case knowing everything there is to know about your condition including the eczema symptoms will allow you to feel more in control of your condition and better able to handle those flare ups when they do occur.