Asteatotic Eczema: Top Home Treatment Tips 2022?

 

Like any form of skin condition, when it comes to asteatotic eczema it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost control of your body. Powerless to an outside force that now dictates how you live. 

One day life is all rainbows and butterflies, and the next, you’re cleaning out a mountain of dry skin flakes from under your duvet (we can totally relate). 

It isn’t easy, both physically or mentally, and can leave you wondering which way to turn or what to do next. 

Luckily, that’s where we come in! Hopefully over the course of the next 5 minutes we’ll put you back on the right track.

In this article, you’ll find: 

1. What is asteatotic eczema?

2. Diagnosis

3. Who’s at risk

4. Common symptoms

5. Causes

6. Top home treatment tips

7. Final thoughts 

So, what is asteatotic eczema? 

Also referred to as eczema craquelé or xerotic eczema, asteatotic eczema is a common form of dermatitis that is caused primarily by extremely dry skin

Normally the condition shows up on the shins, however it’s possible for it also to appear on the stomach, arms, thighs and back. 

With asteatotic eczema, the skin becomes very dry, cracked and scaly. If it is then repeatedly scratched, red plaque with superficial fissures can appear, giving the skin an appearance similar to cracked porcelain or a dried up river bed. 

Diagnosis 

In appearance, asteatotic eczema is similar to ichthyosis, although the latter has symmetrical scaling that more resembles fine fish scales. Because of this, it’s sometimes easy for the two to be mis-diagnosed. 

If you seek assistance from a health professional, it’s crucial you make them aware of your full medical history. If you’ve suffered from varicose eczema for example in the past, this may exacerbate the symptoms you’re experiencing with your current condition. 

Who’s at risk

The eldery, specifically men over the age of 60, are more at risk of developing asteatotic eczema. 

This is usually down to the skin becoming naturally drier as a person ages. 

Common symptoms

In how it looks, asteatotic eczema is quite unique. It will often show up in a distinctive ‘crazy-paving’ like appearance, where diamond shaped plates of skin are separated by red cracks or grooves. 

The skin, often on the shin, might be covered in wide-spread scaling and will likely be itchy and inflamed. 

In more severe cases, there can be soreness and swelling which may lead to further complications such as infection. 

Causes

As with eczema in general, there is no one specific cause we can point to that is responsible for asteatotic eczema. 

There are however a number of triggers you should be aware of if you’re concerned you might be developing symptoms. 

1. Dry, cold weather with low humidity

2. Frequent and prolonged bathing in hot water

3. Dehydration

4. Direct contact with irritants (soaps and other detergents)

5. Excessive cleaning or rubbing of the skin

6. Malnutrition (specifically fatty acids and zinc)

7. Rough towel drying

Of course this is not an exhaustive list, but does give you a few of the main suspects to look out for. 

Top home treatment tips

1. Soothe the itch and nourish dry skin 

We know, this can be particularly tricky to do. And you’ve probably already tried 100 and 1 different skincare products to help your cause. But luckily, our very own calming spray is exactly what you’ve been missing! 

Enriched with a blend of 3 traditional Chinese herbs used for 1000’s of years in Asian medicine, our plant-based formula has been especially designed to combat the symptoms of allergy-prone skin. 

Anti-inflammatory and deeply moisturising for those tricky dry patches, it’s also steroid, paraben and sulphate free :)

2. Identify and avoid triggers 

SO important if you want to avoid flare ups and stop symptoms recurring. It’s not an easy task, and takes a lot of patience to nail down what they might be, but is vital if you hope to make long term progress. 

If you can, a patch test is a good step in the right direction as is an elimination diet. Besides that, it’s about being acutely aware of the ingredients you’re putting onto your skin. Always keep away from soap or fragranced products and opt for hypo-allergenic instead. 

3. Stay away from hot baths and don’t sit next to radiators! 

We know how much you love to soak in a hot bath after a stressful week, but for the good of your skin, it might be time for a change in strategy. 

If you do have a bath, keep it to 15 minutes and ensure the water is tepid, not scolding hot (even though we’re aware this makes it far less enjoyable). 

And avoid that hot radiator or burning log fire! It can be responsible for flaring symptoms. 

4. Use a soap substitute 

Ties in with the point we made on triggers, but is important enough to reiterate. Use a thick, creamy emollient as a soap substitute to help stop your skin drying out after washing. 

5. Buy a humidifier 

If you live somewhere that is particularly dry and cold in winter (or if you just like to have your central heating on full blast whenever possible) it’s important you put moisture back into the air to help keep your skin hydrated. 

A humidifier is a good (but expensive) way to do this. If you’re looking for a cheaper yet still effective method, try putting a bowl of water in each room of your house. Just don’t forget to clean it out every day! 

6. Relax and de-stress

When you feel anxious or stressed, your body releases a number of hormones into the bloodstream that can lead to inflammation. This can in turn exacerbate eczema symptoms and trigger a flare up.

Because of this (and so many other reasons) it’s vital you prioritise your own mental health and emotional well being, even when life seems too busy to do so. 

Meditation and mindfulness are great techniques to get you started, jump over to our social channels @yanyeeskincare for a nudge in the right direction. 

Final thoughts

Asteatotic eczema, like any skin condition, is never just what it appears to be on the surface. It’s a multitude of interlinking symptoms and triggers that directly impacts your life. 

But don’t give up - a positive attitude may be the most important treatment method of all :)

What have we missed? Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know! 

With care,

The yan-yee team

Sources: 

- Asteatotic Dermatitis (Eczema Craquele). (2017). Link

- Asteatotic eczema. (2020). Link

- How to do an elimination diet and why. (2017). Link

- Hypoallergenic: Is there really such a thing? (2019). Link

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