What is the Difference Between Dry Skin, Eczema and Dermatitis?
Dry skin, eczema, and dermatitis; are they all the same? Common skin issues as they are, and people spend thousands of dollars on creams and lotions to stop the dryness. Yet some individuals suffer from something a little more serious than simply dry skin. In this article we will learn about the differences between the three conditons.
Dry skin, eczema, and dermatitis are used interchangeably, but this is incorrect. Eczema and dermatitis are not exactly the same thing. A common misconception is that eczema only affects babies, and that dermatitis is a severe bumpy rash. Continue reading to find out how the three terms are different.
To begin with, normal healthy skin is coated in a thin layer of natural lipids, or fatty substances. They keep in moisture, leaving the skin soft and supple. Usually, something in the environment, or something you’re doing to your skin, is stripping away these fatty oils, leaving your skin unprotected. Less often, the cause is internal; a health condition or genetic predisposition is making your skin dry out.
Eczema is term for a group of skin conditions that cause it to become inflamed or irritated. It can be the result of allergies, asthma, or hay fever. Symptoms include extreme itchiness, dryness and redness. Eczema is often treated with ointments, steroids and antihistamines, depending on the severity of the symptoms. It tends to run in families and is a chronic condition. The area often becomes infected due to scratching, and the eczema can crack, causing oozing and weeping of the area.
Factors that can lead to eczema include foods that the person may be unknowingly allergic to, like sugar and coffee. Also, deficiency of specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids can cause it. Vitamins A, C, E, B are especially important for preventing eczema.
Dermatitis is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin, accompanied by redness and itchiness. The differences between dermatitis & eczema are not always easy to spot since the conditions are very similar. Dermatitis is an allergic reaction to a substance, such as a chemical in soaps or makeup, that comes in contact with the skin. Eczema, on the other hand, is often the result of allergies, asthma or hay fever.
Contact dermatitis results from direct contact with one of many irritants or allergens. Common irritants include laundry soap, skin soaps or detergents, and cleaning products. Possible allergens include rubber; metals, such as nickel; jewelry; perfume; cosmetics; weeds, such as poison ivy; and neomycin, a common ingredient in topical antibiotic creams.
To treat any of these conditions, you must first figure out which one it is. An allergic reaction cannot be solved with simple lotions, the allergen has to be found and avoided. For dry skin in general, one tip is to apply natural skin care balms to your skin as soon as you get out of the shower to trap the water moisture that is already there.
Skin Care Products
To soothe dry skin, eczema, and dermatitis, you will need a balm for eczema and dry skin with extreme moisturizing power. When deciding on skin care products choose those that don’t have perfumes and too many chemicals. A great product on the market is BioBeautyBalm. This product moisturizes wonderfully and doesn’t leave an oily residue behind. It is made from all natural products, has no perfumes or allergens in it, and it is soothing to irritated skin. I highly recommend it as a moisturizer for dry skin.