Adolescent/adult eczema is often preceded by infantile or childhood eczema but not always. A small percentage of patients will develop eczema after age 18 and into adulthood. Adolescents tend to get the classic distribution in the antecubital and popliteal fossae as well as the neck and face. Adults will tend to have a more varied presentation and often will not have classic sites affected. This can make the diagnosis more challenging. But as will other forms of eczema itchiness is a hallmark.
Infantile eczema occurs from age 2 months to 2 years. About half of the time it will present in the first year of life. Typically it will not appear before 2 months of age. Most commonly it will start with redness and dryness of the cheeks and then spread to other parts of the body. It can affect the scalp, neck, knees, elbows, trunk, and buttocks. Often it will be worse in the winter and better in the summer.