Infected eczema

Infected Eczema: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

If eczema starts to become an open sore or wound from scratching, it can easily become infected, resulting in symptoms such as warm, red skin, pus-filled blisters, swelling, pain, and fever. This is called infected eczema, and it is very important to seek medical attention promptly for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.


Infected eczema occurs when bacteria or a virus enters the skin from scratching or rubbing it too hard. While the initial infection often starts with bacteria, viruses such as Herpes Simplex, and STDs such as chlamydia, and trichomonas can also be the initial cause.


The Symptoms of infected eczema depend on the type of infection, but can generally include:

  • Red, swollen, warm, tender, or painful skin
  • Itching and discomfort
  • Dry or crusty patches of skin
  • Fever
  • Pus-filled blisters or ulcers
  • Swollen glands and lymph nodes


Diagnosis of infected eczema is typically made on the basis of a skin culture or blood test. The skin culture can detect the type of bacteria or virus responsible for the infection. Samples may also be sent for special tests to determine which antibiotic will be most effective in treating the infection.


Treatment of infected eczema primarily involves the use of antibiotics to kill the bacteria or virus responsible for the infection. Topical antifungal or antiviral creams may also be prescribed. Oral medications may be necessary if the infection is severe or widespread. In some cases, a draining procedure may be performed to help reduce swelling and drainage.


The best way to prevent infected eczema is to keep the skin moisturized and not to scratch or rub it. The use of topical steroids or over-the-counter anti-itch creams can help to soothe the itch and reduce the risk of scratching. Wearing soft clothing made from natural fibers (like cotton) can also be helpful in reducing friction and irritation. Finally, avoiding situations that might cause further stress or infection (e.g. swimming pools) can be beneficial in preventing further episodes.