Here you'll find a bunch of articles about skincare topics such as eczema, dry skin, acne, wrinkles, premature aging, etc.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's the difference between dry skin, eczema, and dermatitis?

Dry skin, eczema and dermatitis are all common skin conditions, and most people use these three terms interchangeably, however, they're not the same. Depending on which one you have, will determine how you should treat it.

Dry skin can usually be fixed easily with lotions or creams. Healthy skin has a thin layer of lipids that protect it from everyday tasks. They lock in moisture, leaving your skin soft and beautiful. Normally, something in the environment or something you're doing to your skin is removing the fatty oils, leaving your skin dry and unprotected. Extreme dryness can lead to either eczema or dermatitis.

Eczema is describes a group of skin conditions that cause irritation or inflammation, usually the result of allergies, asthma or hay fever. Eczema symptoms include intense itchiness, dryness and redness. Although the exact cause is unknown, there are certain factors that contribute to eczema such as food allergies and a deficiency of specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essentials fatty acids.

Dermatitis is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin, accompanied by redness and itchiness. Because both conditions are very similar, dermatitis and eczema are often confused. Dermatitis occurs when the skin comes in contact with an allergen such as chemicals found in soaps, perfumes and makeup creating a skin reaction. Eczema is usually the result of allergies. Other common irritants include cleaning products, rubber, metals, weeds (like poison ivy), and neomycin (a common ingredient in topical antibiotic creams).


For ordinary dry skin, apply natural skin care balms daily. To sooth eczema and dermatitis, you'll need a skin care product with extreme moisturizing power that doesn't contain perfumes or other possible allergens.


Anonymous said...

Great post! I've really been confused with these 3 terms but now it's clear, thanks!

Lisel's Skincare Tips Made By Nature said...

Kat, great article. As you know, I've had eczema most of my life and I couldn't treat it like it was just dry skin - it just didn't work. Diagnosis is critical.

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kellywilliams said...

This is a great post! So helpful! I also found a great site that offers tips on how to manage the dry skin associated with several different skin disorders. Check out! Hoep this helps!!!

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Laureen said...

It's frustrating to research the condition you have and find, as with eczema, that the causes aren't very well understood and the remedies are limited. baby eczema