Asteatotic Eczema is also known as Xerotic Eczema and Eczema Craquele.
Asteatotic describes a condition in which there is persistent dry skin that is caused by a lack of Sebum.
Xerotic means 'dry'.
Craquele means 'covered with cracks'. (French)
These names are a great description of the symptoms of this type of eczema.
It is common in people over 60. More in men than in women. It does occur in younger people but not nearly as often.
The skin can be extremely dry.
It was once described by Brocq, a French dermatologist, as looking like a cracked piece of porcelain.
Because the skin is so dry, it loses its elasticity, making it less supple. This is what causes the skin to crack. These cracks make it easier for allergens, irritants and bacteria to enter the skin. This increases the chance of inflammation and infection.
Even though the skin is very dry it is not as itchy as you would think. It can itch occasionally, though not as often as other types of eczema.
Asteatotic dermatitis is caused by a lack of Sebum, our body’s natural oil.
Sebum is produced by our Sebaceous glands. As we get older they produce less of the oil. These natural oils help to keep the skin moist and supple. Hence why older people are more likely to end up with the symptoms, especially very dry skin.
Other factors that can affect its severity include
The most important aspect of managing the symptoms is to use emollients very regularly. Use at any time throughout the day, but definitely after bathing. They help to keep the moisture in, which helps to reduce dryness.
Also instead of using soaps and other irritants find a substitute. Some emollients can be used in washing. You can also buy special soaps and other cleaning products that don’t contain fragrances and additives that can irritate the skin.
Avoiding scratching is a good idea, to limit skin damage. So reducing the chance of an infection.
This type of Eczema mainly appears on the shins, as does Stasis Dermatitis. You should be able to tell by looking at how the skin is affected which one if any it is.
Stasis dermatitis tends to change colour, to a rust colour. And even though the skin is dry, with Asteatotic eczema it is extremely dry. So the skin will have the cracked look.
If you are unsure, visit your doctor. They will diagnosis the problem and be able to advise you on the best treatment required.