As atopic eczema is a chronic disease symptoms are generally present all the time. A chronic disease is a long-term one; one that persists for a long time. However, during a flare-up symptoms will worsen and the patient will probably require more intense treatment.
Below are some common symptoms of atopic eczema (without flare-up): The skin may be broken in places, some areas of the skin are cracked, the skin usually feels dry, many areas of skin are itchy, and sometimes raw if scratched a lot, itching usually worse at night, scratching may also result in areas of thickened skin, some areas of skin become red and inflamed, some inflamed areas develop blisters and weep (ooze liquid), the skin has red to brownish-gray colored patches and areas of skin may have small, raised bumps.
Although the patches may occur in any part of the body’s skin, they tend to appear on the hands, feet, arms, behind the knees, ankles, wrists, face, neck, and upper chest. Some patients have symptoms around the eyes, including the eyelids. Scratching around the eyes may eventually lead to noticeable loss of eyebrow and eyelash hairs. Babies tend to show symptoms on the face.
When there is a flare-up the previous symptoms still exist, plus some of the ones below:
• The skin will be much itchier, itchiness and scratching will make the skin redder, raw and very sensitive, many of the affected areas will feel hot, the skin will be much more scaly and drier, the raised bumps will be more pronounced and may leak fluid, blisters will appear, the affected areas may be infected with bacteria and flare ups can last from a day or two to several weeks.
Patients with mild atopic eczema will generally have only small areas of dry skin which may itch sometimes. When symptoms are severe large areas of skin become very dry and the itching is constant. Many areas will ooze fluid.