Eczema on Shoulders & Back

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Eczema is a chronic skin condition that manifests as redness, inflammation, itching, and swelling of the skin. While it most commonly appears on the neck, wrists, elbows, knees, and in skin folds, it can also pop up on the shoulders and back. Luckily, eczema on the shoulders and back is not dangerous or contagious.

What Causes Eczema on Back

Eczema can appear on the back when the skin is more sensitive than normal, whether by genetics or some environmental factor. But a flare-up of eczema on the back is almost always triggered by an irritant. The severity, symptoms, triggers, and even appearance of this skin condition varies from person to person, though most people begin to show symptoms in early childhood and see them disappear in adulthood.

The most common symptoms of eczema on the shoulders and back include:

  • Dryness
  • Flaking
  • Darkening of the affected area
  • Blistering
  • Inflammation (swelling and warmth of the area)
  • Small red bumps
  • Scaly skin
  • Thick skin

Is It an Eczema Rash?

There are other potential causes of rashes on the shoulders and back besides eczema, such as allergic reactions, fungal infections, viral rashes, or even some forms of strep throat. How can you tell if the rash is from eczema or not?

The best way to be sure what’s causing a back rash is to speak to your doctor or pediatrician. You can also look at the rash and see if it matches the most common eczema symptoms.

In some cases, a rash on the shoulders or back can be a sign of a serious condition. If you notice a back rash, consult with your doctor. Additionally,  watch for signs of a more serious condition like:

  • Fever and chills
  • Breathing issues like shortness of breath, inability to breath, or trouble breathing
  • Change in level of alertness or consciousness
  • Stiffness or joint pain
  • Sudden worsening of symptoms

How to Treat Eczema on the Shoulders and Back

There are several ways you can soothe symptoms and reduce the frequency of flare-ups if you do indeed have eczema on your shoulders and back, including trigger management and proper skin care.

This skin condition is often brought on or worsened by triggers, which are environmental factors that irritate the skin and cause an eczema flare-up. Triggers include extreme heat or cold, allergies, rough fabrics, and restrictive clothing. But perhaps the most common trigger for eczema on the back are irritating products, like when you wash your hair and body with a fragranced shampoo or body wash or when you clean your clothes, sheets, and towels with a harsh detergent.

It’s best to avoid these products and instead use a body wash and shampoo for eczema like Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash.  Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash is gentle enough for daily use on sensitive, eczema-prone skin.

The right skin care routine is imperative to soothe any eczema rash on your back, repair the skin’s natural barrier to fight off irritants, and to help prevent future flare-ups. Good skin care includes gentle cleansing with a body wash for eczema (like Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash) and regular moisturizing with a baby eczema cream. Happy Cappy Moisturizing Cream is made with natural ingredients to help lock in moisture and keep the skin safe from irritants.


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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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What triggers eczema on the shoulders?

Certain elements can cause eczema flare-ups, such as allergens, irritants, extreme weather, rough clothing, and insect bites.

What does eczema look like on the shoulder and back?

It usually appears as an itchy, dry, and scaly rash, which may appear red on lighter skin tones and purple or brownish on darker skin tones.

How to manage eczema on the back?

The best way to manage eczema on the back is by
1 moisturizing the skin with eczema cream
2 avoiding potential allergens and irritants
3 wearing light, loose clothing
4 avoiding scratching the rash.

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