Skin Challenge: Asteatotic eczema

A female client's hairline is affected by asteatotic eczema.Eczema craquelé, also known as Asteatotic eczema is a common type of itchy (pruritic) dermatitis. It characterized by dry, cracked, and scaling skin that is typically inflamed.

It usually begins as dry skin, and as the disease becomes more severe, the skin can crack and cause fissures. These fissures can be deep enough to affect dermal capillaries, which can ultimately lead to bleeding. Skin dryness also causes itching, which leads to scratching which leads to excoriations (scabs). Decreased sebaceous and sweat gland activity occurs and this decrease predisposes a person’s skin to moisture depletion. To maintain its integrity, the keratin layer requires a significant water concentration, estimated to be 10 to 20%.

This condition occurs more commonly in the winter months when the skin is more at risk for becoming dry and while it is found on older clients, it can occur on younger clients as well.  The eruption can occur on anywhere on the body but is commonly found on the front/sides of the lower legs.  Lesions can also occur on the back, trunk, and arms.


What is the cause of Eczema craquelé in your client?

People with asteatotic eczema have a decreased amount of free fatty acids in the stratum corneum. Cutaneous loss of these lipids increases transepidermal water loss up to 75 times that of normal patients.  In this case, asteatotic eczema correlates to an underlying systemic conditions such as hyperthyroidism.

Determine any medications; contraindications and cautions before proceeding with any spa treatment.

Treatments that can be offered:

  • Soothing and hydrating services and products with high emollient (oil/butter) or alpha hydroxyl acid moisturisers (lactic acid)
  • Humidifier use and constant mist spraying on skin

DISCLAIMER: Work within the scope of your license/certification.

Portrait of Mórag Currin. About the Author

Mórag Currin is a highly sought-after esthetic educator with more than 27 years of spa industry experience and more than twelve years of training and training management experience. She travels around the globe with her training and expertise, helping to raise the bar in the spa industry and to open the door to all people, regardless of skin type or health condition. To learn more about this topic and many other skin challenges, diseases, and symptoms, check out Mórag’s book, Health Challenged Skin: The Estheticians’ Desk Reference.

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