Xerotic Eczema: What Is It, And How To Treat It Properly?
Xerotic eczema is a skin disorder characterized by dry, cracked skin. Xerotic eczema is a persistent inflammatory disorder similar to other types of eczema. Numerous individuals are afflicted with eczema. Several therapies are available without a prescription.
The term “xerotic” means dry. Therefore, exposure to dry environments is the cause of this type of eczema. It is common in the winter when people are in heated rooms with low humidity and is also known as winter eczema or desiccation dermatitis. People living in desert climates, as well as those working in humid environments, are at risk. While it may seem counterintuitive, water dries out the skin significantly, stripping away the oils in the outer layers and leaving the skin vulnerable to cracking.
Patients with progressive or painful eczema may need medications. While moisturizing and soothing the skin, topical steroid ointments may suppress the immune responses that cause eczema. Depending on the severity of the patient’s case, patients may also use oral medications to control eczema. A dermatologist can also determine whether a patient’s irritated skin results from contact dermatitis, an infection, or another dermatological problem that a moisturizer alone cannot resolve.
It is not contagious or dangerous to have xerotic eczema. It is primarily an aesthetic issue that causes discomfort in some patients while their skin is red, scaly, and bumpy during an outbreak. People with recurrent eczema should see a dermatologist for more aggressive treatment options to limit and prevent attacks. Screening for allergies and other health issues that aggravate eczema may also be beneficial.
Eczema has several types. Xerotic eczema is one of them. Some types are very dangerous, and can even cause death. In addition, there is also a type that generally attacks elderly sufferers, namely Asteatotic Eczema.
Who Among Us Has Dry Skin?
Men and women of all ages are susceptible to dry skin. The amount of water and lipids in the skin varies by race. Childhood-onset dry skin might be one of 20 kinds of ichthyosis (fish-frame skin). It is common for dry skin to be passed down through families. Nearly everyone older than 60 has dry skin.
Those with certain illnesses and conditions may experience dry skin that appears later in life:
- Women the following menopause;
- Medications such as diuretics, oral retinoids, and inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor;
- Malnutrition and weight loss;
- Chronic kidney disease
- Dermatitis subclinical
Dry skin can occur in people who live in arid environments, like:
- Low humidity: in desert climates or when it is cold and windy;
- Bathing excessively;
- Alcohol and other inappropriate topical agents;
- Extreme air conditioning;
- The heat from a fan heater or a fire;
- Friction dermatitis caused by rough clothing or abrasives;
- Detergents, soap, and other solvents.
Treatment for Xerotic Eczema
The first treatment for xerotic eczema is to use a humidifier to rehydrate the dry skin and take fewer showers/baths. This treatment also can avoid scratches. Next, use a moisturizing lotion or an anti-itch cream to decrease dryness.
We can take several approaches to treat xerotic eczema. Improving the environment is one option. A humidifier, for example, can moisten the air, benefit the skin, and prevent dryness. People can also take shorter baths and showers and immediately apply intensive moisturizers to keep their skin moist and supple. In addition, many drugstores and personal care stores sell deep moisturizers and bath oils. Finally, a few weeks of careful over-the-counter treatment can sometimes resolve the cracked, dry, scaly skin that characterizes xerotic eczema.
If rehydration does not relieve symptoms, moisturizers containing urea, such as Lac-Hydrin 5 percent or 12 percent, can be used. Medium- to high-potency corticosteroids can also be used if the skin becomes irritated or broken.
After soaking the affected area in water for twenty minutes and using a medium- to high-strength corticosteroid ointment, researchers discovered that the treatment was effective. Their findings were published in 2005.