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Is It Dry Skin or Eczema?

by | Mar 7, 2022

“If your skin is dry and itchy and doesn’t improve with good, thick moisturisers, then it’s time to see a … doctor who can provide you with targeted, site- and age-appropriate therapies,” reports HuffPost. We couldn’t agree more. Austin Clinic experts know that when cold weather comes to Australia each autumn, it brings along low humidity and gusty winds, as well as increased reliance on central heating.

The cold truth about cold weather is that it can lead to facial dryness and flaky, irritated skin for some people. For other people, however, their skin problems aren’t rooted in the weather. The problem is eczema, and the cause has nothing to do with the temperature.

Eczema Is One Name for 7 Problems

“Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed, and red,” explains the U.S. National Eczema Association concisely on their website. Generally speaking, eczema is caused by a protein deficiency in the top layer of skin (the epidermis).

There are seven different categories for eczema. Each has different symptoms and a unique set of triggers. The experts at Austin Clinic have the training and experience to recommend appropriate treatments and products for:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis

When and Where Eczema Develops

Researchers believe that when the immune system is triggered, people with eczema experience an abnormal, overactive response. It can develop at any ageand may have a genetic component. Eczema is more likely to be experienced in families where allergies and asthma are present.

Eczema can occur on any part of the body, though it is most likely to affect:

  • Forehead
  • Cheeks
  • Forearms
  • Legs
  • Neck
  • Scalp

Symptoms of Eczema

Eczema is characterised by:

  • Skin irritation
  • Scaly skin
  • Inflamed skin
  • Itchy patches of skin
  • Elevated, fluid-filled bumps
  • Dry skin

Why You Should Care about Eczema

The Sydney Morning Herald says eczema currently affects 800,000 Australians, 27,000 of whose problem is considered severe. There is not yet a cure for this common problem, which has significant impact on more than just appearance:

  • Many people are unable to work
  • 40% of patients suffer depression and anxiety
  • 85% of patients with severe eczema have sleep problems
  • Patients feel socially isolated

(Source: Peak Study by the International Centre for Community Drive Research)

Eczema isn’t just a problem here in Australia. Nearly one in ten people worldwide will develop eczema at some time in their lives (If you are one of them, we invite you to book an appointment online to get the help you need.

Austin Clinic Has Help for both Eczema and Dry Winter Skin

Life would be easy if there were a one-for-all-and-all-for-one solution to skin problems. While Austin Clinic does not have that solution available, our professional skincare experts can help you fine-tune your skincare routine to treat eczema and/or protect your skin barrier in the cold weather including: gentle cleansers (to remove dirt); exfoliants (to remove dead skin); and the right creams and moisturizers to correct dry patches.

The Austin Clinic team would love to see you in person. Contact us to make an appointment and get started on better skincare today.