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Infant Rash And More: The Variations Of Dermatitis Atopica Symptoms According To Age Group

Updated on June 3, 2011

Dermatitis atopica covers a wide population range when it comes to age group. This chronic skin condition affects infants, toddlers, older children, adolescents, and adults. The infants and the elderly are the opposite age group extremes affected by it although it is more common in infancy and childhood. Even though dermatitis atopica is a single condition with different names for it, there are slight variations of its symptoms based on the age group affected. Therefore, an infant rash may look slightly different from a toddler rash that’s caused by the same culprit – dermatitis atopica.

To help you identify the slight variations of dermatitis atopica symptoms according to age group, I have included a few pictures along with a detailed description of these symptoms.

*** Notice: Please be advised that the following pictures may be not pleasant to look at.

Baby Eczema Picture

Infantile eczema rash on baby's right cheek.
Infantile eczema rash on baby's right cheek. | Source

Infantile Eczema Or Baby Eczema – Dermatitis Atopica In Infants Or Babies

An infant rash that’s caused by dermatitis atopica is otherwise referred to as infantile eczema or baby eczema. With infantile eczema, the infant rash usually appears red, scaly, and crusty with a little bit of oozing. Left untreated or unmanaged, these rashes may even bleed with the baby’s constant scratching.

Infants with this condition have rashes that are most dry but least scaly compared to other age groups. The infant rash is also much thinner compared to the dermatitis atopica rashes of older children and adults. Unable to talk or voice out their discomfort, you will notice babies with infantile eczema to be constantly reaching out for their rashes. This is a sign that the infant is feeling an uncomfortable itch in the affected area.

In babies with infantile eczema, the rash usually appears on their cheeks. However, rashes may also show on their neck and extremities – particularly, their arms and legs. The good news is that about 50 percent of babies with infantile eczema usually stop showing signs of the condition by the age of two or three years old. The remaining half, however, continue to have the condition throughout childhood and adulthood.

Infantile eczema on both cheeks of a baby.
Infantile eczema on both cheeks of a baby. | Source

Toddler Eczema Picture

An older child with dermatitis atopica rashes on her arms.
An older child with dermatitis atopica rashes on her arms. | Source

Toddler Rash Or Toddler Eczema – Dermatitis Atopica In Toddlers And Older Children

Fifty percent of the infants with infantile eczema who continue showing signs of dermatitis atopica until toddlerhood have the toddler rash or toddler eczema. Again, it’s still dermatitis atopica. These are merely terms used by some to refer to dermatitis atopica in toddlerhood. These terms do not denote, however, that the same age group will no longer have dermatitis atopica later in their childhood as this is not usually the case. Toddlers and older children with dermatitis atopica have the same symptoms but these are different from those in babies, adolescents, and adults.

Similar to the infant rash in babies with infantile eczema, toddlers and older children tend to develop rashes on their face and extremities. But since toddlers and older children are more exposed to the environment, their rashes tend to be worse compared to infants with the same condition – more pronounced, scattered, and much itchier. The toddler rash or child rash with dermatitis atopica also looks thicker and scalier compared to the infant rash, though not as thick and scaly as those that can be found in adults. Reports of extreme itchiness and discomfort are common since toddlers and older children can already speak.

Dermatitis Atopica In Teens/Adults

A "leathery" rash on the right foot of an adult with dermatitis atopica.
A "leathery" rash on the right foot of an adult with dermatitis atopica. | Source

Dermatitis Atopica In Teenagers Or Adolescents And In Adults

The rashes of dermatitis atopica in teens and adults tend to be on the face, neck, hands, fingers, feet, or toes. The dermatitis atopica rashes in these age groups tend to be really thick and dull looking too. “Leathery” is a good term to describe their rashes because they really do look like leather. Sometimes, there may even be small, raised bumps underneath their leathery rash and scratching these will only worsen the itch. Of course, adolescents and adults will be able to report that these rashes are itching. They can also determine for themselves the degree to which these rashes itch unlike toddlers who cannot tell if such itchiness has improved or worsened.


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