There are 8 type of eczema also called atopic dermatitis. “Atopic” refers to an allergy. People with eczema often have allergies or asthma along with itchy, red skin. Eczema comes in a few other forms, too. Each eczema type has its own set of symptoms and triggers.

Some common symptoms of all types of eczema:
  • Dry scaly skin.
  • Redness.
  • Itching, which may be intense.  

Atopic dermatitis: is the most common form of eczema. It usually starts in childhood, and often gets milder or goes away by adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is part of what doctors call the atopic triad. “Triad” means three. The other two diseases in the triad are asthma and hay fever. Many people with atopic dermatitis have all three conditions.

  • The rash often forms in the creases of your elbows or knees.
  • Skin in areas where the rash appears may turn lighter or darker, or get thicker.
  • Small bumps may appear and leak fluid if you scratch them.
  • Babies often get the rash on their scalp and cheeks.
  • Your skin can get infected if you scratch it.


Atopic dermatitis happens when your skin’s natural barrier against the elements is weakened. This means your skin is less able to protect you against irritants and allergens. Atopic dermatitis is likely caused by a combination of factors such as:

  • genes
  • dry skin
  • an immune system problem
  • triggers in the environment

Contact dermatitis: If you have red, irritated skin that is caused by a reaction to substances you touch, you may have contact dermatitis. It comes in two types: Allergic contact dermatitis is an immune system reaction to an irritant like latex or metal. Irritant contact dermatitis starts when a chemical or other substance irritates your skin.

  • Your skin itches, turns red, burns, and stings.
  • Itchy bumps called hives may pop up on your skin.
  • Fluid-filled blisters can form that may ooze and crust over.
  • Over time, the skin may thicken and feel scaly or leathery.


Contact dermatitis happens when you touch a substance that irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction. The most common causes are:

  • detergents
  • bleach
  • jewelry
  • latex
  • nickel
  • paint
  • poison ivy and other poisonous plants
  • skin care products, including makeup
  • soaps and perfumes
  • solvents
  • tobacco smoke

Dyshidrotic eczema: causes small blisters to form on your hands and feet. It is more common in women than men.

  • Fluid-filled blisters form on your fingers, toes, palms, and soles of your feet.
  • These blisters may itch or hurt.
  • The skin can scale, crack, and flake.
  • allergies
  • damp hands and feet
  • exposure to substances such as nickel, cobalt, or chromium salt
  • stress

Hand eczema: that only affects your hands is called hand eczema. You may get this type if you work in a job like hairdressing or cleaning, where you extensively use chemicals that irritate the skin.

  • Your hands get red, itchy, and dry.
  • They may form cracks or blisters.


Hand eczema is triggered by exposure to chemicals. People who work in jobs that expose them to irritants are more likely to get this form, such as:

  • Cleaning
  • Hairdressing
  • Healthcare
  • Laundry or dry cleaning

Neurodermatitis: is like atopic dermatitis. It causes thick, scaly patches to pop up on your skin. 


  • thick, scaly patches form on your arms, legs, back of your neck, scalp, bottoms of your feet, backs of your hands, or genitals
  • these patches can be very itchy, especially when you are relaxed or asleep.
  • if you scratch the patches, they can bleed and get infected.


Neurodermatitis usually starts in people who have other types of eczema or psoriasis. Doctors do not know exactly what causes it, although stress can be a trigger.

Nummular eczema: This type of eczema causes round, coin-shaped spots to form on your skin. The word “nummular” means coin in Latin. Nummular eczema looks vastly different from other types of eczema, and it can itch a lot.


  • round, coin-shaped spots form on your skin.
  • the spots may itch or become scaly.

Nummular eczema can be triggered by a reaction to an insect bite, or by an allergic reaction to metals or chemicals. Dry skin can also cause it. You are more likely to get this form if you have another type of eczema, such as atopic dermatitis.

Stasis dermatitis: happens when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin. This fluid causes swelling, redness, itching, and pain.

  • The lower part of your legs may swell up, especially during the day when you’ve been walking.
  • Your legs may ache or feel heavy.
  • You will likely also have varicose veins which are thick, ropey damaged veins in your legs.
  • The skin over those varicose veins will be dry and itchy.
  • You may develop open sores on your lower legs and on the tops of your feet.


Stasis dermatitis happens in people who have blood flow problems in their lower legs. If the valves that normally push blood up through your legs toward your heart malfunction, blood can pool in your legs. Your legs can swell up and varicose veins can form.

Scalp eczema: The shedding of white skin flakes is often the most noticeable symptom of scalp eczema.

Eczema that affects the scalp may sometimes be seborrheic dermatitis, which people also refer to as dandruff. This form of eczema is the type that most often affects the scalp.

Scalp eczema can be a stubborn condition that persists for years. It can come and go without warning, and it can disappear on its own. Symptoms of scalp eczema can be managed. (with doctor’s help) More men are affected with scalp eczema than women.

 Some triggers are:
  • genes
  • illness
  • stress
  • hormones
Other medical conditions:
  • HIV
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, or acne
  • Allergies such as hay fever, asthma
  • Other types of eczema
Other factors:
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Sweating
  • Irritants
  • Dry skin
  • Greasy hair

Scalp eczema causes patches of skin to become red, flaky, and itchy. It can also affect other oily areas of the body, such as the face, nose, eyebrows, and eyelids.

This form of eczema can also affect the ear canal. When it does, it may result in the discharge of fluid from the ear.

Scalp eczema can cause the skin to become greasy, waxy, or even blistered. These patches of skin can become infected and will release clear fluid.

The color of the skin can change in the affected area, even after it has healed.

Treatments for scalp eczema usually come in the form of a shampoo or a cream or gel to apply to the scalp.

Shampoos that are most effective against scalp eczema include those that contain one or more of the following ingredients:

  • zinc parathion
  • salicylic acid
  • selenium sulfide
  • ketoconazole
  • coal tar

What specialists treat eczema?

Its best to see a dermatologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of eczema. More than likely the doctor will take a sample of skin for biopsy.  

Three things you should look for in your moisturizers:

  • You want something that occlude the skin.
  • Humectants (pulls water into the skin).
  • Emollients (soften the skin).

Dietary changes:

Anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • fish
  • leafy greens
  • beans and lentils
  • colorful fruits
  • vegetables
  • turmeric andcinnamon

Common inflammatory foods:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat

Other causes:

  • Fragrance oils and detergent free soap
  • Fragrance fee fabric softeners
  • Excessive heat
  • Wrap up well in cold weather (cold weather can dry your skin out)
  • Avoid bathing too long
  • Avoid scrubbing your skin
  • Avoid scratching (pat your skin)

Seek medical attention right away; do not try to heal yourself. Stay on top of any treatment the doctor gives you do not want your eczema to get worse.  

Atopic dermatitis. (2016, July)
Atopic dermatitis: Overview. (n.d.)
Atopic dermatitis: Signs and symptoms. (n.d.)
Contact dermatitis: Diagnosis and treatment. (n.d.)
Contact dermatitis: Signs and symptoms. (n.d.)
It’s more than just “dishpan hands.” (n.d.)
Know what type of eczema you have? (n.d.)
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, July 26). Atopic dermatitis (eczema): Causes
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, July 26). Atopic dermatitis (eczema): Definition
Mayo Clinic staff. (2014, July 26). Atopic dermatitis (eczema): Symptoms
Mayo Clinic staff. (2014, July 26). Atopic dermatitis (eczema): Treatments and drugs
Neurodermatitis: Overview. (n.d.)
Neurodermatitis: Signs and symptoms. (n.d.)
Neurodermatitis: Who gets and causes. (n.d.)
Nummular eczema. (n.d.)
Stasis dermatitis: Signs and symptoms. (n.d.)