Eczema typically appears as a patchy rash that is thickened, cracked, dry and scaly, according to Mayo Clinic. It is often red to brownish gray and may have raised bumps with oozing liquid. Itchiness particularly at night is another symptom of eczema.
While eczema symptoms share many common traits, the symptoms vary from one person to the next, says WebMD. The severity of the symptoms often varies. The rash also tends to come and go rather than stay permanently. The itching often begins before the actual eczema rash. The rash patches can show up anywhere, but they most often appear on the hands, legs, face and neck.
Eczema tends to run in families, states WebMD. Symptoms often first appear as a baby, although a person of any age can suffer from eczema. Some babies outgrow the symptoms of eczema as they get older.
Outside factors sometimes make eczema symptoms worse, notes Mayo Clinic. Dry skin, scratching, itching clothing, and heat or humidity changes are examples. Stress, illnesses and allergies can also play a role in eczema. Dust, tobacco smoke, pollution and chemicals such as cleaners or soaps have the potential to cause an eczema flare-up.
If the symptoms become severe, medical attention may be necessary, explains Mayo Clinic. Pain, infection or discomfort that interferes with sleep and normal routines are examples of reasons to see a doctor for eczema symptoms.