What situations can mimic eczema?

What conditions can mimic eczema?

Eczema is a standard pores and skin situation that’s typically troublesome to diagnose. Attribute signs, together with dry pores and skin, rashes, itching, scaly patches, and blisters, can resemble different pores and skin issues.

There are seven subtypes of eczema, every with particular traits that set them aside. Eczema is commonly confused with different pores and skin situations, and typically these different issues are misdiagnosed as eczema.

This text discusses pores and skin situations generally mistaken for eczema and how you can inform them aside.

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Is eczema all the time itchy?

Sure, eczema is nearly all the time accompanied by gentle to extreme itching.

Situations that mimic eczema

Some pores and skin situations that may mimic eczema embody:

  • Ringworm
  • Psoriasis
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Polymorphic Lucite (PMLE)
  • Pores and skin infections
  • Cutaneous lymphoma
  • Lupus
  • Pimples
  • Rosacea


Ringworm is a pores and skin an infection attributable to a fungus. It seems as a hoop and is often itchy and pink. Ringworm can have an effect on the pores and skin of just about any a part of the physique, together with fingernails and toenails, and usually responds effectively to antifungal therapies.

Ringworm in opposition to eczema

A ringworm rash is often spherical with outlined edges. Though eczema rashes might be spherical, in addition they come in several configurations and dimensions. Moreover, ringworm rashes might include a cluster of small black dots within the heart of the ring.


Psoriasis is an immune system-related pores and skin illness that causes itchy, scaly patches, very similar to eczema. Psoriasis and eczema can seem anyplace on the physique, however psoriasis is extra prone to develop on:

  • Scalp
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Buttocks
  • Confront

Eczema may also happen in these locations, however typically impacts the again of the knees or the within of the elbows. You may get both illness at any time, however eczema tends to have an effect on kids, whereas psoriasis often develops in maturity.

Ultraviolet B (UVB) gentle from the solar can ease the signs of psoriasis and a few sorts of eczema.

Psoriasis versus eczema

Eczema is usually extra itchy than psoriasis. Eczema patches are inclined to ooze when scratched, whereas psoriasis patches can bleed. Not like eczema, psoriasis often seems in maturity.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a pores and skin rash attributable to an immune response to sure substances that contact the pores and skin. It typically happens with eczema. ACD is attributable to a response to allergens, akin to:

  • Nickel and different metals
  • Shampoos, cleansers, moisturizers or deodorants
  • Cosmetics, hair dye or nail polish
  • Topical drugs
  • Crops
  • Rubber
  • Plastics and glues

An ACD rash causes itchy, pink, scaly pores and skin that typically blisters or oozes. It will probably take hours or days to look after publicity to the problematic substance, and it might probably take weeks to heal.

Eczema is often discovered on the face, elbows, ft, pores and skin folds and the again of the knees, whereas ACD can seem anyplace you’re uncovered to an irritant.

ACD in opposition to eczema

Though eczema and ACD rashes might look comparable, ACD is extra prone to develop on areas of your physique which were uncovered to an allergen. Not like eczema, ACD reactions ought to go away when you keep away from the irritating substance.

Polymorphic Lecite (PMLE)

Polymorphic lucite (PMLE) causes an itchy rash triggered by daylight. The rash often happens on the face, forearms, backs of the arms, and neck. Signs often seem a couple of hours after solar publicity and might last as long as two weeks.

The situation often happens within the spring or summer season, when individuals are extra prone to be outside.

PMLE in opposition to eczema

Not like eczema, signs of PMLE solely happen after solar publicity and disappear inside a couple of weeks.

Bacterial pores and skin infections

Pores and skin infections can typically be confused with eczema. Sometimes, pores and skin infections attributable to micro organism, akin to staph, seem pink, heat, and swollen. Moreover, they might include pus or ooze a honey-colored crust.

These pores and skin infections may also accompany different signs, akin to fever. They often reply to topical or oral antibiotics.

Pores and skin an infection vs eczema

Not like typical eczema rashes, bacterial pores and skin infections can seem swollen and filled with pus. Additionally, if in case you have different signs of an infection, akin to fever, it is probably a pores and skin an infection and never eczema.

Cutaneous lymphoma

Cutaneous (cutaneous) lymphoma is a uncommon pores and skin most cancers unrelated to solar publicity. Sometimes, cutaneous lymphoma seems as:

  • Small pimple-like lesions
  • Plaques (uneven and flat lesions)
  • Bumps below the pores and skin

Like eczema, lesions might be itchy and scaly. They’re often pink or purple and seem on areas of the pores and skin that aren’t uncovered to the solar. Folks with cutaneous lymphoma may expertise fatigue, a excessive white blood cell rely, and enlarged lymph nodes.

Cutaneous lymphoma vs eczema

Cutaneous lymphoma can seem like eczema. Nevertheless, it might probably accompany different signs like fatigue and enlarged lymph nodes. Your well being care supplier ought to carry out a biopsy (take a tissue pattern for laboratory evaluation) to substantiate that the lesion is cancerous.


Lupus is an autoimmune illness that impacts many organs within the physique, together with the pores and skin. A standard symptom of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash that often seems on the cheeks and nostril. Different signs of lupus embody:

  • Articular ache
  • Fatigue
  • Pores and skin lesions that usually worsen when uncovered to the solar
  • dry eyes

Lupus versus eczema

Lupus rashes typically seem on the face in a butterfly form and are delicate to daylight. Signs akin to joint ache and fatigue may also sign lupus, however they aren’t indicators of eczema.


Pimples happens when hair follicles grow to be clogged with oil and useless pores and skin cells. Signs of pimples embody whiteheads, blackheads, or raised pimples. The lesions often seem on the face, brow, chest, again and shoulders.

Though pimples might seem like eczema, it isn’t itchy. Pimples tends to look in oily areas of the pores and skin, whereas eczema often impacts dry areas.

Pimples versus eczema

The principle distinction between eczema and pimples is that pimples just isn’t itchy.


Rosacea is a pores and skin situation that causes the small blood vessels in an individual’s face to swell, resulting in facial flushing. It will probably additionally set off the formation of small pus-filled bumps, which might be mistaken for eczema.

Rosacea is probably to have an effect on the cheeks, nostril, eyelids, brow, and pores and skin across the mouth.

Rosacea versus eczema

You may often inform eczema from rosacea by it. Rosacea is characterised by seen blood vessels and often solely impacts the face.

How one can accurately diagnose eczema

Medical professionals often diagnose eczema by your pores and skin and asking about your signs. To rule out different situations, they might must carry out checks.

A patch take a look at might help decide if in case you have any allergic reactions. A biopsy can reveal vital info, such because the presence of eczema in your pores and skin cells. Moreover, it might probably inform your healthcare supplier in case your pores and skin lesions are cancerous or benign.


Eczema is a standard pores and skin situation that’s typically misdiagnosed. Signs of eczema, which embody an itchy, scaly, pink rash, can mimic these of different issues. Realizing the traditional indicators might help decide whether it is eczema or one thing else.

Your healthcare supplier might must carry out particular checks to substantiate that your pores and skin signs are attributable to eczema. As soon as the analysis is confirmed, therapies might help management your signs.

Regularly Requested Questions

  • What number of sorts of eczema are there?

    There are seven sorts of eczema, together with atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis, and so forth.

  • What pores and skin issues coexist with eczema?

    Many different pores and skin situations, akin to pores and skin infections, allergic contact dermatitis, and pimples, can happen together with eczema.

  • How have you learnt if an contaminated eczema is bacterial or fungal?

    Bacterial infections might seem pink and swollen and include pus. Fungal infections could cause a pink, scaly, itchy rash with a couple of pustules.

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