This is the common form of eczema seen in people who have extremely dry skin. It is increasingly common as we get older, and many people in their 60s and beyond are affected. It begins as severe dry skin. If not treated, the dryness leads to microscopic cracking of the skin surface. The skin becomes porous as a result, losing moisture even faster. The problem is compounded as irritating substances that are normally repelled by the watertight skin surface can now seep through the cracks. As a result, the skin becomes increasingly inflamed, and the inflammation triggers itching, redness, and weeping. Treatment is aimed first at reducing inflammation by using medications such as topical cortisone creams, and then by aggressive moisturizing once the inflammation is controlled.