Daily life-changing care

Areas affected by eczema

Eczema can affect all areas of the body. Asking a child to do a special coloring exercise can prove useful: on a piece of paper, ask them to draw a person from the front and then the back, and color in all the areas of the body where they themselves have eczema. This "artwork" can serve as a starting point for talking to the child about what bothers them about the disease, for example.

In cases of contact eczema, the areas affected simply correspond to the areas that have been in contact with the allergenic substance. However, in cases of atopic eczema, the areas affected depend predominantly on the patient's age and therefore vary over time.

Eczema on the legs

Let's start from the ground up. Eczema can affect the legs, in particular around the ankle area and in the fold behind the knee (also known as the popliteal fossa). In infants, the thighs are also commonly affected.

Eczema on the stomach and belly button

A little higher up, we find the stomach. Eczema can affect the whole stomach area, especially in babies, or more localized areas, such as the belly button in the case of contact eczema or nickel allergies.

Eczema on the arms

On the sides, arms are also susceptible to eczema. The wrists and elbow folds are commonly affected in older children and adults, while the outsides of the arms and shoulders are more likely to be affected in babies.

Hand eczema (chronic hand eczema)

Hand eczema is a real problem which can cause a lot of pain and suffering. The hands are involved in most of our movements and actions and this type of eczema is particularly visible to others. The hands are often subjected to the irritants or allergens which provoke eczema and are often difficult to avoid.

Eczema on the neck and nape of the neck

The neck is an area that is often affected by eczema, in cases of atopic eczema but also contact eczema, for example due to costume jewelery.

Eczema on the face and ears

The face is not impervious to eczema. Babies' cheeks when affected by eczema become covered in red plaques. In older children, the lips and lip area can become very dry, cracked and extremely painful. The ears can also be affected, particularly in the ear crease or on the earlobe.

Eye eczema (palpebral eczema)

In the case of palpebral eczema the eyelids may swell up and become very red. The patient cannot stop rubbing their eyes, which only aggravates the inflammation of this small area of skin. It can be really hard to cope with people staring.

Eczema on the scalp

Unsurprisingly, the scalp can also be affected by eczema. The itching sensation is often very intense, the person scratches, sometimes without even being aware of it because the scalp is concealed by the hair to some extent. The scabs that form quickly disintegrate due to the scratching and form a kind of dandruff. Some lesions are scratched until raw and may start to bleed.

Points to remember

Regardless of the area affected by eczema, the symptoms are always the same: red plaques and rough, itchy skin. Some plaques are more visible than others, particularly those on the face, eyelids, neck and hands. Others plaques may often be hidden, but that does not stop patients from scratching them, even through their clothes.

Regardless of the area affected by eczema, the impact on quality of life should not be underestimated simply because the surface area affected is small or well-hidden underneath clothing. Individuals experience different feelings about their eczema.

Regardless of the area affected by eczema, it is always treated in the same way: with topical corticosteroids to target the inflammation combined with emollients to hydrate, repair and protect the skin. However, treatment may need to be adapted, particularly in terms of the strength of topical corticosteroids and the textures of the different products prescribed. Before applying a cream to a new area, ask your physician or pharmacist for advice. It should be noted that some people with eczema on the face and neck may benefit from a slightly different treatment, using topical immunosuppressants instead of topical corticosteroids. However, methods for cleansing and skin care remain the same.

When almost the entire body is covered in eczema, a personalized treatment for generalized eczema is required, occasionally involving a stay in hospital.