Can Eczema Be Painful?

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.

REFERENCE:

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

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Reviewed on 2/13/2018