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How to Tell if Your Dry Skin Is Actually an Eczema Symptom

How to Tell if Your Dry Skin Is Actually an Eczema Symptom

Eczema refers to several skin conditions that affect approximately 10% of all women, men, and children in the United States. Most of the time, eczema first appears in childhood, and it affects all ages and all races. 

If you have dry skin, particularly if it itches, you may wonder if you’re among that 10% of the population with eczema. Our dermatologist Paul Yamauchi, MD, PhD, diagnoses and treats eczema and other skin disorders at Dermatology Institute & Skin Care Center in Santa Monica, California. 

Do you have eczema? If your skin is dry, and you have one or more of the following symptoms or signs, you just might. 

Do you have tiny blisters on your hands or feet?

If your fingers, palms, toes, or soles are covered with small, itchy blisters, you may have eczema. Touching an irritant, such as the metal nickel, or being under stress can cause an outbreak of eczema. Flares usually clear on their own with time but then recur when you’re exposed to the stressor again.

Do you have other types of lesions on your skin?

Round, coin-shaped, itchy lesions may be a sign of a very rare type of eczema called nummular eczema. A more common type of eczema — neurodermatitis — is marked by small, leathery patches of skin that also itch. Sometimes neurodermatitis starts after a stressful episode. You may be scratching the patches without even realizing it.

Do you have allergies or an autoimmune disease?

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis (AD). Signs of AD include flaky, red, and infected skin. People with AD often have allergies, such as hay fever or asthma.

Another common form of eczema associated with allergies is contact dermatitis (CD). You may have CD if your skin becomes itchy and irritated when you wear wool or touch metal or other irritants. Even your skin care products may cause a bout of CD.

Do you have flaky skin or dandruff?

Dandruff — white flakes on your scalp — is actually a form of eczema called seborrheic dermatitis (SD). A yeast that lives on your skin may be responsible for SD, which affects the skin that has a lot of oil glands, such as your scalp, around your nose, and on your upper back. 

Do you have varicose veins?

Varicose veins are damaged blood vessels that slow down the circulation in your legs. One possible complication is a type of eczema called stasis dermatitis. If you have stasis dermatitis, the skin on your legs may become:

Treatment for stasis dermatitis involves removing the defective veins slowing down your circulation. If the veins are small enough, you may be able to treat them with laser therapy.

Have traditional “dry skin” remedies failed you?

Eczema is more than just dry skin. If you haven’t found relief with lotions, creams, or oils, you may need a treatment designed for your particular type of eczema. Depending on your symptoms, you may benefit from:

CIBINQUO and RINVOQ are JAK inhibitors. JAK1 is a protein that causes inflammation in atopic dermatitis (i.e., eczema). JAK inhibitors are a steroid-free solution to treating eczema. 

ADBRY is a biologic treatment that targets interleukin-13 to subdue inflammation. ADBRY is also steroid-free.

Don’t waste another minute trying to treat your “dry skin” with over-the-counter treatments not meant to address eczema. Get the help you need for comfortable and beautiful skin today by phoning our friendly staff. Or, send us an online message to book a consultation. 

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