Several types of eczema, including contact dermatitis and discoid eczema, affect certain age groups and body areas. They also present differently across skin tones. People with lighter skin tones may develop skin redness, and on darker-skinned individuals, these areas may appear purple or gray.
This article looks at the different types of eczema affecting certain body parts. We also examine eczema in adults and children and provide slideshows of the types of eczema on different skin tones and bodies.
There are different types of eczema, including:
- Atopic dermatitis: Atopic refers to a collection of allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever, and the word dermatitis refers to skin inflammation. This condition’s general symptoms tend to include itching and dry, scaly patches. Foods, environmental allergens, and genetics may trigger this type of eczema. However, atopic dermatitis does not present with a patterned rash, which occurs with contact dermatitis. This is how doctors differentiate the two conditions.
- Contact dermatitis: This skin condition occurs when a person receives contact with certain substances that trigger an allergic reaction. The rash usually appears in a pattern that follows the shape of the allergen, such as a wedding band. Symptoms include:
- itchy skin
- crusting or scaly skin
- lesions in affected areas
- Dyshidrotic eczema: This type causes water-filled blisters on the affected body area. It may cause accompanying symptoms, including extreme itching and a burning sensation. Factors that can aggravate this condition include:
- sensitivity to specific compounds
- extreme temperatures
- Discoid eczema: This condition results in coin-shaped plaques with raised spots and scaling. It tends to be more common in older adults and those with extremely dry skin, such as during winter.
- Varicose eczema: This skin condition causes swelling and itchy discolored skin. It usually occurs on the lower legs when circulation issues lead to varicose veins.
- Asteatotic eczema: Doctors
characterizethis type of eczema as dry, cracked skin, scaling, and itching that results from dry and colder climates.
On lighter skin tones, eczema tends to cause skin reddening if people scratch itchy eczema patches. Conversely, the condition can cause darker brown, purple, or gray areas on darker skin.
Find out more about eczema on the skin of color.
The following slides show pictures of the types of eczema. To see all the images on one screen, click “view all.”
These different types of eczema may occur on specific body parts more than others, including the:
The images in the slideshow below show some of the different areas of the body that eczema may affect.
Adults can develop any type of eczema. If a person has had the condition for years, the skin may appear thick, rougher, and darker than the surrounding skin.
Specific types of eczema are more common in older adults. For example, varicose eczema tends to affect people over 50 years of age.
Additionally, asteatotic eczema affects those
Varicose eczema is quite common, affecting approximately 70% of people over the age of 70 years.
Adults also usually develop eczema on different parts of their bodies compared with children. Adult eczema may form in one or more of the following areas:
- the backs of the knees
- the creases of the elbows
- the back of the neck
- the face
To see all the pictures, click “view all.”
Eczema can appear on any area of the skin at any age. However, at certain ages, it is more likely to develop in some regions of the body.
In babies, eczema may occur on the scalp and face, particularly the cheeks. However, they rarely develop AD in the diaper area, as the skin stays too moist for AD. A rash in the diaper area usually indicates diaper rash.
Eczema often appears as a dry, raw, scaly rash. Itching may come and go, and any lesions may weep fluid in some cases.
When eczema develops after the age of 2 years, it usually occurs as itchy and scaly patches in areas such as:
- the creases of the elbows and knees
- the crease between the buttocks and legs
Over time, the skin may change in appearance, causing it to become bumpy, discolored, and thicker, resulting in the skin becoming persistently itchy.
Read more about eczema in children.
In the following slides, find examples of the areas that eczema affects in children.
There are several risk factors can trigger eczema, including:
- a family history of this condition
- environmental allergens
- extremely dry skin
- contact with allergic substances in shampoo or cleansers
- certain food allergies
- hay fever
- cold or damp environments
- warm and humid environments
- immune system issues
- metal compounds
- chemical compounds
There is no cure for eczema, but there are many treatments available. These may include over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications or lifestyle changes depending on the type of eczema.
- OTC treatments include topical and oral medications, such as antihistamines and hydrocortisone, to relieve itching. Other OTC remedies can help prevent flares and assist with sleep when nighttime itching occurs.
- prescription topical medications include:
- topical Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors
- topical calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus
- topical PDE4 inhibitors
- topical steroids
- prescription injectable medications, such as biologics
- prescription oral medications:
- JAK inhibitors
- systemic medication
- prescription phototherapy
Several types of eczema can cause symptoms ranging from itching, dry skin, and scaling. These may present in different body areas, varying by age and skin tone. There is no cure for any type of eczema, but treatments are available to relieve symptoms.