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Eczema on the arms

The arms are an area of the body frequently affected by eczema.


The areas touched by eczema on the arms vary, depending on the age:
  • In babies, the outer part of the arms are affected;
  • In older children, eczema typically affects the elbow folds and wrist folds.
  • In adults, the folds are even more often affected, just like the outer surfaces and the shoulders.
Itching can be very intense. Children scratch their skin through their clothes, and when they can, they lift their sleeves and scratch skin directly: lesions are sometimes scratched raw. This then causes a major risk of secondary infection and scarring.

Some people are ashamed of the eczema plaques they have on the arms. They wish to hide them at all costs, and sometimes wear long sleeves all the time. This is not such a good idea, since this can cause skin irritation and/or excess perspiration.


To soothe eczema on the arms, and also on the legs, the basic treatment also involves topical corticosteroids, including in the skin folds, even if the skin is thinner and more fragile in this area. Try to use creams instead of ointments to avoid any risk of maceration.

In case of severe generalized eczema on the limbs, it can be wise to apply a topical corticosteroid and bandage the limb using damp gauze covered by a dry strip. This dressing has broad coverage and can be kept on overnight helping to optimize treatment efficacy, increase skin hydration and limit scratching.

In case of eczema on the hands or wrist, wearing costume jewelry or a tight watch can be the culprit. Choose amply wide bracelets to limit rubbing.