Eczema & Severe 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. Severe dry skin may also be due to another medical condition, such as thyroid disease.

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a common type of dry skin condition that causes dryness, itching and burning. Though adults and individuals of any age can develop eczema, the condition is most common during the first five years of life and baby eczema often manifests in infants less than a year old.


If you are experiencing dry skin, look out for the following common eczema symptoms:

  • Sensitive, dry skin
  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Severe itching
  • Oozing or crusting on dry skin patches
  • Skin swelling
  • Dark or rough patches of skin
  • Eczema rash
  • Eczema infection

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) eczema 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 eczema treatment options that can help reduce itchiness and pain and prevent infection. 

Treatment for eczema typically involves topical medications like:

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

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


Aurora Health Care operates dermatology clinics in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Greenfield, Sheboygan, and throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. If you think you may have eczema or are looking for eczema treatment options, use our search tool to find a dermatologist near you.

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