Asteatotic (xerotic) eczema (eczema craquelé)

Asteatotic (xerotic) eczema (eczema craquelé)

The risk of asteatotic eczema (also known as xerotic eczema or eczema craquelé) is increased in people with reduced sebaceous and sweat gland activity, causing moisture loss from the skin.29,30 It can be worsened by cold dry weather but may improve during warm humid weather.30 

Asteatotic eczema appears as intersecting cracks in the top layer of the skin that have a distinctive "crazy paving" appearance, which occurs on a background of dry skin in many people.31,32 Lesions most often appear on the lower leg and are rough and scaly.10,33 However, other areas of the body may also be affected, including the back, flanks, abdomen, waist and arms.30 Itching can be intense but is typically intermittent.30

Asteatotic eczema

Image source: DermnetNZ

Asteatotic eczema is thought to occur in 1-10% of the general population but most commonly affects older people.10,31,33 Around 15% of people with asteatotic eczema have a history of atopy.32


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UK/GEN/16/0051 Date of preparation: October 2016