Impetigo

A skin condition that is commonly confused with eczema, impetigo is most prevalent in children but it can also occur in adults in conjunction with eczema [source: InteliHealth]. The red bumps or blisters that signify impetigo most often appear on the face, near the nose or mouth. Impetigo can be cured with antibiotics that your doctor prescribes. Unlike eczema, it is contagious, so be sure to wash infected areas carefully and frequently to prevent spreading.

Weeping Eczema

Weeping eczema refers to eczema that has worsened and resulted in an infection, which consists of pus-filled blisters that are wet and oozing -- basically, they "weep" [source: National Institutes of Health]. Infections like this happen most often when you continually scratch the itchy areas of your skin. For this reason, weeping eczema is more common in children, because it can be more difficult to prevent them from scratching. If your child has eczema, watch him carefully to make sure that he is not scratching the areas of his skin that have eczema.

The blister-produced ooze that gives weeping eczema its name is usually golden in color and dries to become a crusty layer on the skin's surface [source: AAFA]. Cold compresses and wet cloths may help soothe the itching and pain, but don't rub the affected skin with them, because scratching will only worsen the infection. Other signs of infection include extreme redness, cold sores and fever blisters.

Eczema, if scratched enough, can become infected with bacteria (most commonly a staphylococcus or "staph" infection) that live happily and harmlessly on the surface of your skin. Once staph gets through the barrier of your dermis, then it can cause problems. At the sign of infection, consult your doctor, and he or she can prescribe either topical or oral antibiotics that will heal the infected areas.

Fortunately, not all eczema becomes infected. To find out how to treat eczema that hasn't been infected, read on.