Dry Skin vs. Eczema

As the temps drop outside and the heat is cranked up inside, you may find yourself noticing dry, itchy skin on yourself or your loved ones. Dry skin can be just that, dry skin, or it could be something more serious, such as eczema. While it can be difficult to tell if you’re experiencing a skin condition such as eczema, or simply dry skin, here are a few tips to help you tell the difference!

Give Moisturizing a Try

Most of the time when your skin is dry it is missing some much-needed moisture! How do you know which moisturizer to reach for? Instead of reaching for a thin lotion, we recommend grabbing a thicker product like a cream or ointment. Be sure to stay away from any products with added scents or fragrances to avoid any irritation! If you’re dealing with dry skin versus eczema, you will likely see much improvement with consistent moisturizing alone.

Think About Your History

Knowing your personal and family history of skin disorders can be helpful when determining if you may have eczema. Do you have a personal history of eczema, allergies, or asthma? Do you have a family history of eczema, allergies, or asthma? If you answered yes to either of these questions, your chances of having eczema are higher than someone without that history.

Assess the Situation

While dry skin is definitely a component of eczema, the reverse is not the case. If you are experiencing an eczema flare, you will likely notice itching, thickening, and inflammation of the skin. Oftentimes the face, neck, insides of the arms, and behind the knees are the most commonly affected areas.

If you try daily moisturizing and the rash still lingers, it is time to make an appointment with your dermatology provider. While eczema is a common, typically chronic rash, prescription-strength treatment is oftentimes necessary for the management of the skin condition.

If you think you may be experiencing eczema or any other rash, call us today to make an appointment. One of our dermatology providers will undergo a thorough assessment of your skin and create a personalized regimen for your condition

Author: Sarah P. Fender, PA-C

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Charleston Dermatology