Skin | Dermatology | Dry Skin (Symptom)
Dry Skin: Description
Dry skin also known as Xeroderma represents the epidermis that lacks moisture or sebum, often characterized by a pattern of fine lines, scaling, and itching. Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterized by a lack of the appropriate amount of water in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. While dry skin tends to affect males and females equally, older individuals are typically much more prone to dry skin.
Dry Skin: Causes
Dry skin may be a mild, temporary condition lasting a few days to weeks. Dry skin may also become a more severe, long-term skin problem for some. Symptoms of dry skin include discomfort from skin tightness and itching. In addition, external factors such as weather can affect the severity of skin dryness. For example, cold or dry air and winter weather can worsen dry skin. Individuals whose occupations require more frequent hand-washing and sanitizing may experience dry skin more often. Dry skin may also be a side effect of some medications or a symptom of an underlying medical disorder. When dry skin cracks, it can give bacteria and other microbes entry to the body.
Dry Skin: Treatment and Diagnosis
Simple prevention and treatment measures are very effective in the treatment of dry skin. Basic dry skin prevention steps include avoidance of harsh soaps and chemical cleansers. Treatment generally requires more frequent and regular applications of bland emollients and moisturizers. Untreated, dry skin may result in complications, including rashes, eczema, secondary bacterial infections, cellulitis, and skin.