Asteatotic eczema. Dry and cracked skin on the legs of an elderly patient with asteatotic eczema. Eczema is a superficial itchy skin inflammation. This form results in dry, cracked and flaking skin, usually on the lower extremities of the elderly. It is associated with the dehydration of ageing tissues, and those suffering from a minor degree of malnutrition. It is aggravated by soaps and other irritants, and by scratching. Treatment involves humidifying the air and using moisturising emollients (skin softeners) or weak steroids.
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