What is Asteatotic Eczema: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies, Prevention

Eczema is a common condition and is seen affecting nearly 7.3 percent of adults in the United States.(1)

Eczema is of several types, differing in triggers, symptoms, and treatments.

What is Asteatotic Eczema?

Asteatotic eczema is a type of eczema that develops on dry skin. It is also known as eczema craquele or xerotic eczema.

The first signs of Asteatotic eczema include scaly, cracked, red, and inflamed skin.

What is Asteatotic Eczema

Asteatotic eczema can occur anywhere in the body but is commonly found occurring in smaller patches on the skin of the fingers and toes.

Causes of Asteatotic Eczema

There are a few factors that can lead to asteatotic eczema:

Environmental Causes

A cold and dry atmosphere can lead to a decrease in humidity and increase the risk of asteatotic eczema.

Soaps, detergents, and other harsh products can dry the skin out and increase the risk of this condition.

Underlying Conditions

Certain health conditions such as hypothyroidism, lymphoma, and nephritic syndrome are linked to asteatotic eczema.

These conditions have dry skin as a rare side effect that can lead to the development of asteatotic eczema.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiency can occur due to dietary imbalance, malabsorption, and underlying gastrointestinal condition.

Nutritional deficiencies such as deficiency of vitamin D, selenium, and zinc have an impact on some conditions such as eczema.(2)

For asteatotic eczema zinc and fatty acid, deficiency has been reported to be a causative factor.(3)


Certain medications such as statins and diuretics lead to dry skin. This might trigger asteatotic eczema.

Risk Factors for Asteatotic Eczema

There are certain risk factors that can lead to the development of this condition.

Age: With age changes the integrity of skin cells. Older adults are found struggling with dry skin issues and are therefore more at risk of developing asteatotic eczema.(4)

Dry Skin: People with dry skin are more likely to suffer from asteatotic eczema. Dry skin can result from environmental conditions or frequent bathing.

Low Humidity: Humidity can get low in cold dry weather or both. Low humidity levels can lead to dry skin and can become a cause of asteatotic eczema.

Frequent Bathing: Bathing restores the moisture on the skin, but frequent bathing can have opposite effects, especially if you bathe with hot water.

The research suggested frequent bathing to be a risk factor for asteatotic eczema.(3)

Harsh Chemicals: Many products that we use in our day-to-day life may contain chemicals and fragrances that may lead to dry skin.

These chemicals may thereby increase the risk of asteatotic eczema.

Symptoms of Asteatotic Eczema

Symptoms of asteatotic eczema start with dryness on the skin which may be noticed when the skin is:

  • White
  • Flaky
  • Scaly
  • Inflamed
  • Cracked
  • Tight
  • Itchy

During the development of asteatotic eczema, the skin may become marked or scratched. There would be thin, red lines on the skin.

The skin can become swollen and inflamed. Untreated asteatotic eczema can lead to nummular dermatitis that is characterized by coin-shaped skin lesions.

Treatment of Asteatotic Eczema

Just like with other types of eczema, asteatotic eczema can be treated with oral and topical medications and lifestyle changes.

Daily moisturizers and emollient creams can help restore moisture to the skin barrier and reduce inflammation and other symptoms.

Medicated ointments and creams may help reduce flare-ups and speed recovery. The topical treatment options include:

Corticosteroids: These are prescribed initially for atopic dermatitis

Calcineurin inhibitors: These help reduce inflammation and are often prescribed with corticosteroids

Lipids: This plays an important role in maintaining the protective barrier of the skin. A study found that topical application of lipids greatly improved skin function and hydration.

Oral histamines can also help reduce itching associated with asteatotic eczema flare-ups.

If there are symptoms of infected eczema such as redness, pain, pus, open sores, and fever, medical treatment should be taken.

Home Remedies for Asteatotic Eczema

There are a few home remedies that can reduce the symptoms and severity of this condition.

Oatmeal: Colloidal oatmeal bath is used for a variety of skin conditions. It can help soothe inflamed skin.

Plant Oil: A study found that sunflower oil can help improve the outer skin layer.(5) Similar benefits are found with coconut oil.

Botanicals: Herbal preparations have been used for treating various conditions in alternative medicine. Essential oils such as calendula and tea tree oil can reduce severe eczema. But it is important to speak with your doctor before using them.

How Can You Prevent Asteatotic Eczema?

  • Asteatotic eczema can be prevented in some people with lifestyle changes.
  • For those living in cold and dry areas, keeping the skin moisturized can help. You can also consider investing in a humidifier.
  • For frequent bathers, taking fewer showers and turning down the heat can help.

If experiencing the symptoms of asteatotic eczema, it is important to visit a doctor or a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.