Eczema is a condition that can cause skin symptoms such as dryness, itching, and discolored rashes.

Doctors may classify eczema into three stages: acute, subacute, and chronic. Eczema does not always pass through every stage. It may potentially begin at any stage and develop into another.

Some people have multiple patches of eczema in different stages on their body at the same time.

Eczema sometimes causes changes in skin pigmentation that may last for several months or longer, even after other symptoms have resolved. The skin may become darker or lighter in color.

Eczema may also become infected in some cases. It is important for a person to contact a doctor right away if signs or symptoms of an infection develop.

A person should let their doctor know if they develop new or worsening skin symptoms. Other conditions may cause similar symptoms as eczema. Their doctor will examine their skin and may order tests to learn whether eczema or another condition is causing the symptoms.

A person’s doctor or dermatologist may recommend changes to their skin care routine, medication, or other treatments to manage eczema or potential complications of the condition.

Click through the progression guide below to learn how eczema may change over time.