Can Eczema Be Painful?

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Ask the experts

I have atopic dermatitis (eczema) on my hands. Can eczema be painful?

Doctor's response

Eczema refers to a group of skin conditions that result in itchy, red, inflamed skin. Types of eczema include:

 The main symptom of eczema is itching which can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms of eczema include:

  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Skin discoloration (especially red or pink)
  • Skin swelling
  • Scaly, rough patches of skin
  • Oozing, bleeding, or crusting from areas scratched open
  • Pustules, blisters, red hot skin if a secondary infection occurs

Eczema is generally not painful. Itching may be intense, and excessive scratching can damage the skin, causing sores that may be painful. If these open wounds become infected (cellulitis) the areas of the eczema may become painful. Seek medical care if an area of eczema becomes painful.

Read our full medical article on eczema for more information.


National Eczema Association.
What is Eczema? 2018.
12 February 2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 2/13/2018