Dermatologists frequently help patients sort out the causes of rough or dry skin conditions so that we can find effective therapies. Among the most common culprits are eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, as well as a genetic condition called ichthyosis, and contact dermatitis. There are dozens of other causes – such as psoriasis and what’s called seborrheic dermatitis – so it’s often a good idea to get a medical consultation to sort out the diagnosis.
Eczema is a type of genetically sensitive skin condition that usually starts on the legs, arms, or face in kids or young adults, but which can be seen at any age. Many of us Dermatologists have taken care of thousands of people with eczema over the years, so we can often diagnose the condition by simply examining the skin of our patients carefully. Fortunately, in 2018 new therapies are emerging for this often dry and itchy condition – including newer topical steroid creams and ointments, such as Halobetasol and Clobetasol, steroid-free prescription products including tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, a new prescription product called Eucrisa® Ointment (Crisaborole Ointment), and a systemic injection called Dupixent® (Dupilumab).
The above individual may be suffering from a skin allergy, such as contact dermatitis. This can cause annoying itching.
Ichthyosis is a type of genetically sensitive skin condition that presents with rough dry and scaly areas of the arms, legs, and/or body, often starting in early childhood. It comes in many different patterns on the skin, and the name derives from the Greek root for fish, because some cases resemble the scales of a fish. Therapy for this condition often involves what are called Alpha-Hydroxy Acid Creams, such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, or madelic acid.
Sensitive skin conditions can affect all ages - from babies to adults. And all people develop ichtyosis and eczema - from the fair-complected Albino individuals of the world to the darkly-pigmented African- and Asian-descended individuals.
Contact dermatitis is also a common cause of rough skin or dry skin. This means that the skin is reacting to either an irritation (irritant contact dermatitis) or an allergy (allergic contact dermatitis) by developing a rash. Among the most common causes are reactions to metals like nickel, cobalt, or even gold; reactions to fragrances or perfurmes; and reactions to certain preservatives in toiletries or cosmetics; and even reactions to dyes, to latex, or to steroid products themselves. To help sort out the cause, Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates is one of three Dermatology facilities in Shelby County, TN that offers extended allergy patch testing, called Dormer testing. Finding the culprit chemical can often result in great improvement or clearance of the resulting skin condition.
In 2016, after twenty-five years of practicing Dermatology, I incorporated a skincare products company - Big River Silk Skincare Inc. - to manufacture and distribute several lines of Glycolic Acid-containing moisturizer creams: GLYCOSHEA® Facial&Neck Cream, GLYCOSHEA® Hand&Body Cream/Standard Strength, and our newest product: GLYCOSHEA® Hand&Body Cream/High Strength. We distribute these creams both at our company headquarters, at 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, Monday-Friday 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Or for more information, see our sister web site: www.Bigriversilkskincare.com, or call us at 1-844-363-8593 or 1-901-309-0930, as we offer free USPS shipping for orders over $40.00.
The bottom line is that one should never itch in silence. Consider getting your skin condition – or that of your family member – properly diagnosed – to find a care path to managing or clearing it.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. – Dermatologist with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates PC