If your dry skin makes you think you might be half-alligator, you may be curious about eczema. Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis), can make your skin dry and itchy—but there’s actually a lot separating typical dry skin from this irritating chronic condition.
There are times when it’s completely normal for anyone’s skin to feel super dry. For instance, if you’ve been out in cold, windy weather, haven’t been drinking enough water lately, or haven’t used lotion in so long you barely remember what it is, you may experience dry skin as a result. The issue is that eczema can make your skin completely overreact to these triggers—or become dry and inflamed for seemingly no reason. This reaction comes down to your skin’s protective barrier.