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How dangerous is eczema?

While eczema can be itchy and annoying, it is not usually considered dangerous. However, repeated scratching of the skin can lead to infections, which can spread and become more severe if left untreated. For instance, the skin may become infected with the virus that causes cold sores, known as the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This type of infection can progress into a serious condition called eczema herpeticum, which is characterized by symptoms including painful areas of eczema that quickly become worse, pus-filled blisters that leave sores when they burst, and a fever. Similarly, severe eczema around the eyes may lead to severe eyelid itching, watering eyes, or inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis) or eyelid lining (conjunctivitis). If left untreated, these complications can lead to permanent eye damage.

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About this article

Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 06 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 1346 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Eczema


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