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Dry Patches on the Arms

Dry Patches on the Arms


Many people suffer from dry, itchy patches on their arms. Whether they come on when the seasons are changing, from being in a dry climate or are caused by stress, these uncomfortable patches can be as embarrassing and unsightly as they are itchy and annoying. The most likely culprit is a common skin condition called eczema.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is, essentially, very dry skin that has difficulty maintaining moisture. When it becomes dehydrated, skin becomes itchy. When scratched, it becomes flaky, red and unsightly. Though sufferers of the condition may go through a bad spell or breakout occasionally, they may also find they have no signs for many months or years at a time. An outbreak is often set off by a change in weather, climate, stress or diet.


Eczema can appear white or red, and be bumpy or not. Eczema is very common and its sufferers have a lifelong predisposition to the condition. They will likely have to work regularly at combating and preventing outbreaks.

At-Home Treatment

If you suffer from dry patches on your arms, take warm baths instead of hot ones, pat skin dry instead of rubbing it when toweling off, use moisturizing soap and apply a moisturizing lotion several times a day.

Buy cotton clothing and bedding, use gentle laundry detergents and make sure the air in your home stays a bit humid by investing in a humidifier. To ease itching, Benadryl and cortisone creams can be helpful.

Prescription Treatments

Your doctor can prescribe medications to treat dry patches on your arm caused by eczema. Corticosteroid creams can ease your itch and dryness, as can other non-steroidal skin ointments.

Psychological Treatment

Because eczema can be influenced by stress, and the itchy unattractiveness certainly adds to sufferers' unhappiness, some doctors are prescribing psychiatric-based treatment. Doctors may ask patients to chart their emotions during a breakout or attempt to find a pattern to events leading up to an outbreak. According to the National Eczema Association, 30 to 60 percent of patients have an emotional component to their condition.

See a Doctor

Instead of self-diagnosing the dry patches on your arms, get a doctor's expert opinion and follow his advice on your road to recovery.

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