Eczema or dry skin: how to tell the difference between the two? Expert response

Eczema or dry skin: how to tell the difference between the two?  Expert response

You don’t know if you have dry skin or if you suffer from eczema. In the meantime, do you feel discomfort on your skin? Marie Drago, doctor of pharmacy and founder of Gallinée, reveals the differences between these two skin problems.

Dry skin or eczema, in both cases your skin needs attention. If she suffers discomfort, red patches, itching… on the body or the face, it’s probably because of one of these skin problems. But how do you know which one is for you? Maybe as winter approaches your skin becomes more sensitive to drying out. Or maybe you are suffering of an inflammatory skin disease. Marie Drago, doctor of pharmacy and founder of the Gallinée skincare brand, answers your questions on the subject.

Dry skin or eczema: how to tell the difference?

Dry skin is characterized by a feeling of tightness, itching, red spots… As confirmed by the expert, “dry skin is a skin condition that is very related to external factors. It is manifested by a weakened skin barrier, and therefore there is water evaporation which is more intense.”

Conversely, “Eczema is a disease that is well defined. It is multifactorial.” explains Marie Drago. “There are a lot of causes for eczema which can be either genetic or environmental.” However, unlike dry skin, eczema is caused by the presence of bacteria on the skin, “a specific bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium comes to act on skin that is already a little dry, which infects it and causes redness, patches, itching…, are the true symptoms of eczema.

To make the difference between the two skin problems, Marie Drago emphasizes the importance “a little raised red patches and itching” on skin suffering from eczema. It also specifies the areas of the body most likely to be affected: the folds of the elbow, behind the knees, hands and eyelids. This is a real inflammation that requires a visit to a dermatologistand not just dry skin.

What are the causes of eczema?

The specialist explains that many factors can be responsible for eczema. First there is genetics. Indeed, some are born with a defect in the production of filaggrin, an important element of the skin for a healthy skin barrier. External aggressors are also at fault. For example: excessive washing, heat, stress, food allergies, seasonal changes… Or even a microbiome problem due to excessive use of antibiotics.

What are the causes of dry skin?

There are internal factors, specific to each, and external factors, related to the environment. One of the primary factors responsible for dry skin is natural aging. It is also necessary to be wary of free radicals which attack the skin: sun, pollution, extreme temperaturesA wrong diet with few vitamins and essential fibers does not provide enough hydration to the skin. Also look at your bad habits, like letting water dry on your skin without wiping it off or use household products without wearing gloves. Take care of your skin!

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