Symptoms of eczema (dermatitis)

Dermatitis is another word for eczema.

Although, there are different types of dermatitis, some symptoms are common to all of them.

But the combination of symptoms experienced by one person with eczema is usually different from what the next person with eczema has.

It is very important to know that this condition can look different on the skin of different people, even if it is the same type of eczema. Sometimes, the way it looks on one part of your body could be different from how it looks on another part.

The symptoms include:

  • Patches of skin with rashes.
  • Itchy skin: As you scratch the affected skin, the dermatitis worsens. The itching may be mild. But sometimes, it is severe enough to make people scratch their skin till it starts bleeding and this bleeding can worsen the eczema. The scratching can also eventually lead to that area becoming infected.
  • Inflamed skin: Usually looks reddish and swollen.
  • Skin that is dry and sensitive (easily irritated).
  • Areas of skin that are scaly¬†or rough.
  • Skin may appear thickened.
  • Oozing: The affected skin may leak a clear fluid from blisters. It is seen especially in babies.
  • Crusting: The affected skin patches can crust over.
  • The affected areas may look lighter than your normal skin.
  • Affected areas may also look darker.
Affected area of skin is rough, scaly, thickened, an darker than surrounding skin
The affected area of skin is rough, scaly, thickened, an darker than surrounding skin
The affected area of skin is lighter in colour than surrounding areas









A person who has dermatitis (eczema) may not necessarily have all these symptoms; he/she might have just a few of them.

Also, your symptoms might come and go from time to time. They could remain there all the time, getting better or worse depending on exposure to triggers. Or they could go away completely.

If you have a skin condition that you think is dermatitis/eczema, it is necessary to visit the doctor if you have not done so. This is because even though you might have many symptoms that makes it seem like dermatitis, it may actually not be.

So have the expert (dermatologist) look at it and tell you for sure.