Eczema & Dry Skin


Dry skin can lead to itchiness and leave skin irritated and flaky. Dry skin is often caused by a dry, cold climate. It may also be caused by steamy showers, chemicals or moisture-robbing routines – like drying off right after a shower without moisturizing first – or using certain soaps. Dry skin may also be due to another medical condition, such as thyroid disease.

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes dryness, itching and burning. If not treated, skin may also become crusty or scaly. Scratching can cause clear fluid to seep from the skin and may lead to infection. Eczema often appears in babies less than a year old and is most common during the first five years of life. Symptoms include a rash that causes scaly, dry patches on a baby’s scalp, cheeks, elbows, diaper area or elsewhere. As the child gets older, the rash is more likely to show up in the creases of the elbows and knees. 

Treatment Options

Dry skin can make a person look older, and it can be uncomfortable. Most cases can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) creams, lotions or ointments applied to the skin. Talk to your doctor if these OTC options don’t help.

Unfortunately there’s no cure for eczema, but there are treatment options that can help reduce itchiness and pain and prevent infection. 

Most eczema is treated with topical medications including:

  • Steroids 
  • Immunomodulators 
  • Antibiotics to treat any infection that has occurred
  • Antihistamines to help relieve itching 

Phototherapy is sometimes used if the eczema doesn’t respond to topical treatments. 

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