By Deanna Pai
“Eczema can also appear unexpectedly — and while many people who have experienced it will know what to look for, some may not realize what it is,” says N.Y.C. dermatologist Marisa Garshick, M.D.
Here are 4 ways to figure out the difference.
Winter brings cozy nights in and — as many of us have experienced firsthand — dry, rough skin.
“In addition to appearing rough, flaky, and irritated, eczema skin also presents itself as patches, scales, and bumps or blisters that result in crusting,” says Melanie Palm, M.D., a dermatologist in San Diego, CA.
Eczema, like acne and rosacea, is an inflammatory skin condition. So, of course, there’s a good chance that it’s going to present with signs of inflammation, the most common being redness. On the other hand, “dry skin generally does not have as much inflammation as found in eczema, so there is typically less redness,” says Garshick.
“Dry skin can also be itchy, but eczema is typically associated with inflammation, which is what can make it more itchy,” says Dr. Garshick. (Think: Itchiness that doesn’t improve even with moisturizers and lotions.)
Eczema knows no bounds. “Eczema can involve different areas of the body, including the eyelids and the area around the mouth,” says Dr. Garshick. You can also get those rashes and itchy patches below the neck, too.