When Your Eczema Treatment Doesn't Work: Why Your Eczema Isn't Eczema

About Me
It's More Than Skin Deep: Eczema 101

I never fully understood eczema until I had a child with special needs who was prone to severe outbreaks. The more time I spent trying to treat and prevent those outbreaks, the more I learned about the triggers, treatments, and preventatives. I dedicated all of my free time to learning everything I could about it in the hopes of helping my little one. Knowing that I couldn't be the only one who was struggling with this, I decided to build this site and publish everything I'd learned. I hope that these pages will help you to address eczema outbreaks in your loved one as well.


When Your Eczema Treatment Doesn't Work: Why Your Eczema Isn't Eczema

20 July 2018
 Categories: , Blog

You have spent years and hundreds of dollars treating your eczema, only to have the same results over and over again. Maybe it is time that you accept the possibility that just maybe, your eczema is not eczema at all. This sounds really strange, but it definitely explains why your "eczema" is not responding to any over-the-counter eczema treatment products. A visit to a dermatologist helps, but before you go, here are a few other skin disorders that are commonly misdiagnosed as eczema.


Rosacea looks a lot like eczema. Your general or family physician may have diagnosed you with eczema because eczema covers other areas of the body. Yet, the truth is, rosacea can occur on more than just the face. Rosacea can occur on shoulders, back, upper arms, etc. If your "eczema" was accompanied by "acne," then you did not have either of those; you had rosacea. A dermatologist can tell the difference.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis can also be misdiagnosed as eczema because both skin conditions frequently have dry, scaly patches that are really itchy. Eczema and contact dermatitis also respond well to moisturizers, even though the results last longer with the dermatitis than with eczema. The biggest difference between these two skin disorders is that the minute you stop coming into contact with the item that is causing the dermatitis, it clears up and does not return. The eczema continues to come and go.

Keratosis Pilaris

This skin disorder mimics eczema in that it is bumpy, itchy, and red and is often made worse in dry weather.  However, the cause of this skin disorder is dead skin cells clogging up your pores and hair follicles on your body. It will not respond to eczema treatments, but it will respond to a special soap to cleanse your skin, open the clogged pores, and release the dead skin cells that are trapped there.


Psoriasis, when it first starts out, or when it is extremely mild, is often confused for eczema as well. Both are patches of itchy, dry skin that occasionally develop weepy spots. A dermatologist is able to tell the difference by taking a sample of the scaly skin and a bit of the weepiness (if available) and looking at them under a microscope. Other tests can be performed in the dermatologist's office to look for psoriasis markers. If the psoriasis markers are not present, then the dermatologist can give you a prescription strength treatment for eczema or look at other skin disorders to rule out everything else it could be.

For more information about skin issues, contact a professional, like those at Regency Skin Institute PLLC