If you have dry, itchy skin, it could signal something more. Eczema is an umbrella term for skin conditions that are characterized by dryness, scaly patches, redness, and blisters. When you consider that about 10% of women, men, and children in the United States have eczema, you may wonder why you know so little about it.
At Dermatology Institute & Skin Care Center, our expert and caring dermatologist Paul Yamauchi MD, PhD, helps you understand your skin and how best to care for it. Is your dry, itchy skin really eczema? Following are some clues that it might be.
The most common form of eczema is called atopic dermatitis (AD). Although, as with all types of eczema, symptoms vary from person to person, if you have AD, you might have skin that’s:
Because AD is an autoimmune disease, you’re more likely to have this type of eczema if you have other autoimmune conditions, including allergies, such as hay fever. You might also have asthma.
Another common type of eczema is called contact dermatitis (CD). You get an attack of CD after your skin comes into contact with an irritant, such as chemicals in cleaning or personal care products. Typical allergens and irritants include:
An extreme type of CD is poison ivy rash. As with many cases of CD, the rash and redness doesn’t appear until days after the exposure to the poison ivy leaves. That’s because your immune system launches an attack against the noxious substance, which causes inflammation.
Even over-washing your hands can trigger a CD flare. Be sure to use a gentle soap or ask our advice on what types of cleansers or hand sanitizers will keep your skin safe.
Dyshidrotic eczema (DE) shows up as patches of small blisters on your hands and feet. These itchy blisters usually appear on your:
Irritants, such as metals like nickel, can trigger DE. As with other forms of eczema, you may only experience it after direct exposure to an irritant.
Nummular eczema (NE) is very difficult to treat. Luckily, it’s also rare. You may have NE if you notice itchy, coin-shaped patches or lesions on your skin.
Whether you have dry skin, eczema, or a combination of both, you don’t have to live with it. We offer remedies that are based on your symptoms as well as an in-depth evaluation. For dry skin, we may recommend medical-grade skin care products. Treatments for eczema may include:
Stop itching and start feeling better by getting an eczema evaluation and diagnosis today. Call our friendly staff or send us an online message.