Eczema is characterized by itchy, dry, rough, flakey, inflamed, and irritated skin that can flare-up, subside, and then flare again. It looks like a rash on the skin. The skin condition usually affects the arms (particularly the inner elbow), behind the knees, or the face (particularly the cheeks and the scalp), but it can occur anywhere on the body. Eczema is not contagious. Fortunately, eczema tends to become less severe with age.
Eczema is known to cause intense itching, which only further irritates and inflames the skin. Scratching the skin can lead to infections that need to be treated with antibiotics.
Learn about other causes of itchiness.
Learn about other causes if skin rash.
Small, raised bumps that may ooze fluid (called "weeping") after scratching them and then become crusty are also signs of eczema. These bumps can also signal a skin infection brought on by scratching the affected area. Have your skin looked at by a dermatologist for an evaluation, because certain skin infections require antibiotics.
Learn about other causes of skin bumps.
Thickened, scaly skin or cracked skin is another sign of eczema.
Learn about other causes of scaly skin.