A member asked:

Can my coworkers get eczema if they touch my infected spots?

36 doctors weighed in across 16 answers

No: Eczema is absolutely not contagious. It is an auto-immune disorder which means it is caused by your immune system attacking your own skin. There is no way to spread it to someone else since it is not caused by a bacteria or a virus.

Answered 5/26/2015

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No: Eczema is an inherent disease, and is not transmissible.

Answered 5/26/2015

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No: Eczema is an inflammatory condition that is intrinsic to your skin, and is therefore not contagious by touch nor by any other means.

Answered 1/5/2019

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No: Eczema is more closely associated with "allergy" reactions. I describe eczema as the skin's version of an allergic reaction, no different than watery eyes can be the eye's version of an allergic reaction. Bottom line is that it is not contagious or infectious.

Answered 5/26/2015

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No: Eczema is not a contagious disease, it it an inflammation of your skin caused by allergic reactions to topical agents, like soap or latex gloves, or sometimes caused by something you are eating. It is a good idea to protect your open skin or oozing rash from contamination by others, so if the skin is wet, cover the area.

Answered 10/18/2016

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Dr. Karen Han answered

No: Some people with eczema are carriers of a bacteria called staph.Aureus. If a carrier with open colonized wounds comes in contact with a susceptible individual, then a skin infection may spread. Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is itself not contagious.

Answered 1/23/2019

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No: Eczema is not transmitted like an infectious disease rather it is an inherited condition of the skin that tends to be exacerbated by environmental changes and stress. It is often seen in patients with other sensitivities to foods or other allergens as well. A common pattern is for it to recur on the flexor surfaces of joints like inner elbow folds or behind knees.

Answered 10/16/2016

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No: Eczema is an allergic condition and, therefore, not contagious. When you say 'infected spots', it's important to clarify. "infected" means that a microorganism is involved, such as bacteria or viruses. So 'affected spots' would be a more appropriate descriptor for eczema. Now, if you scratch your itchy eczema which then becomes infected with a bacteria, this may be contagious to others.

Answered 7/20/2012

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No: If it is pure eczema no. If your eczema has a secondary infection it may become contagious depending on the type of bacteria growing.

Answered 5/26/2014

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No: Eczema is not contagious, however if you have a bacterial infection, this could be transmitted to someone who touched it with a break in their skin.

Answered 6/10/2014

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No: No. Eczema is not a contagious condition. It requires a genetic predisposition. However, some flares of eczema are related to bacterial infections of the skin. The bacteria of such a skin infection can be transmitted and can colonize or cause an infection in another person.

Answered 12/12/2013

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Yes: No as true eczema is considered an allergic reaction and thus not transmissible through contact. However as your question stated, it would be wise to make sure you do not have an infection and so use proper skin care and keep the skin lesions covered if possible.

Answered 7/14/2012

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No: Eczematous skin is more vulnerable to infection by bacterial - usually staphylococcus - viruses - herpes simplex, common warts & molloscum contagiosum - and fungi - e.g. Athlete's foot. Open, weepy, oozing, or bleeding areas of eczema are usually due to a staphylococcal infection & that is quite contagious. It will also make your eczema much worse. But eczema is not contagious, it's inherited.

Answered 12/30/2016

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Definitely Not: Eczema is an allergic condition of the skin and is by definition, not contagious. However, eczematous skin is more prone to infection, and if infected, the bacterial component may be contagious to others.

Answered 8/4/2017

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No: True eczema is not contagious.

Answered 5/29/2012

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Dr. Bhavin Patel answered

Specializes in Allergy and Immunology

NO: Eczema is not contagious. Its only occurs in people who are predisposed to have eczema. Thus, is does not spread by contact.

Answered 11/26/2013

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