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About Xerosis - Xerotic Eczema

What is Xerotic eczema
An abnormal dry skin condition,  characterized by itchy and cracked skin.  It can affect people across the age spectrum, however it is more common for elderly people.

Xerosis is a very common, non-infectious condition occurring with greater frequency during the fall and winter because of the low humidity in the atmosphere. However, excess bathing coupled with low atmospheric humidity are the most frequent cause of skin dryness and itching.  In fact, many people call xerosis "Winter Itch" because of its regular worsening during the winter season. When the skin dries out, its top layer becomes stiff, and easily  cracks. This cracking phenomenon causes fissures down into the depth of the skin which then becomes irritated, inflamed and very itchy.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of dry skin include itching, flaking, and fine lines. Xerosis of the foot is common in patients with diabetes and can lead to severe complications, such as ulcers and infections.

 

Xerosis - Xerotic Eczema Treatment

Xerosis Treatment
One way to treat xerotic eczema is to avoid scratching the affected area and to apply an anti-itch moisturizing lotion frequently.  Furthermore, decrease your baths to a maximum of one every other day, if possible. Many patients decrease to one or two baths per week, spot bathing as necessary between baths.

Since the second most common cause is the usage of harsh antibacterial soaps, a simple practical solution is to avoid them as much as possible and substitute them with gentle like the Dermasil moisturizing cleansing bar. Unfortunately most harsh soaps on the market are contributing to dry skin.

Self-care Tips
Fight dry skin by returning moisture to the skin. You can increase the humidity in your home during the winter months with a humidifier. You can ad moisture to your skin by applying moisturizing oils or lotions, using mild soaps when bathing, and avoiding rubbing the skin dry after a shower or bath. Instead, pat gently with a towel. The best time to moisturize is right after a shower or bath.  Maintaining a balanced diet, exercising, and drinking plenty of water contribute to healthy, supple skin. If you must spend time in the sun, wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. If you are a diagnosed diabetic, have your feet examined regularly for signs of xerosis and its complications.

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