Daily life-changing care

Dry skin (xerosis)

One of the main eczema symptoms, and in particular of atopic eczema, is skin dryness. This is also known as xerosis.

Symptoms and causes for dry skin (xerosis)

Dry skin is the main symptom of eczema, but it does not appear right away, generally between 1 and 2 years. Inversely, when the child is older, when flare-ups become more rare or disappear completely, the skin dryness persists and can become the only sign of eczema.

Skin dryness is caused by several flaws in the epidermal barrier, particularly by deficiencies in certain proteins and lipids. Cells are often illustrated as bricks, and these cells become disorganized when the cement between the cell bricks is of poor quality. The water usually stored in the skin thus evaporates more easily and the skin becomes dry. All these mechanisms result in uncomfortable, tight, itchy skin which peels at times and which can lead to the formation of real eczema plaques.

How to deal with dry skin

To deal with dry skin, there is one solution: hydrate endlessly! Emollients are rich in water, fatty substances, humectant agents (which trap water) and occlusive agents (which prevent water from evaporating). They restore suppleness and softness to the skin, temporarily restore its protective barrier function and fight against discomfort and tightness. Emollients are applied every day to healthy skin, meaning except on eczema plaques; as a follow-up to topical corticosteroids on areas affected by eczema but completely healed. It should also be noted that medical devices such as soothing repairing creams have proven beneficial in accelerating the treatment of plaques and limiting their reappearance.

Situationsthat promote skin dryness

Some factors promote skin dryness: especially cold, wind, bathwater, pool water or soaps. In all these situations, it will be necessary to adapt hydrating care and nourish your dry skin; whether by applying the emollient more often or by opting for an emollient richer in fatty substances, for example a balm which will be richer than a cream.