Medically the review by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — composed by Jacquelyn Cafasso on respectable 30, 2018

What is xerosis cutis?

Xerosis cutis is the medical term for abnormally dry skin. This name comes from the Greek indigenous “xero,” which way dry.

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Dry skin is common, especially in enlarge adults. It’s commonly a minor and also temporary problem, yet it may reason discomfort. Your skin needs moisture to remain smooth. As you age, retaining humidity in the skin becomes an ext difficult. Your skin may come to be dry and rough together it loser water and also oils.

Dry skin is much more common during the cold winter months. Editing and enhancing your day-to-day routine by taking shorter showers v lukewarm water and using moisturizers can help prevent xerosis cutis.


Dry skin is connected to a to decrease in the oil on the surface of the skin. The is usually motivated by eco-friendly factors. The following tasks or conditions may cause dry skin:

overcleansing or overscrubbing the skintaking baths or showers using excessively hot waterbathing also frequentlyvigorous towel-dryingliving in locations of short humidityliving in locations with cold, dried wintersusing central heating in your residence or workplaceextended sunlight exposure

Xerosis cutis is worse throughout the cold winter months when the wait is really dry and there is low humidity.

Older human being are more susceptible to emerging the condition than younger people. Together we age, our sweat glands and also sebaceous glands are less active, mainly due to changes in hormones. This makes xerosis cutis a common problem for those 65 year old and also older. Diabetes is additionally a risk factor, do older individuals with diabetes really likely to build xerosis cutis.

Learn more: What carry out you want to know about diabetes? »


Symptoms of xerosis cutis include:

skin that is dry, itchy, and scaly, especially on the arms and also legsskin that feels tight, particularly after bathingwhite, flaky skinred or pink irritated skinfine crack on the skin

At-home care

Treatment is aimed at relieving her symptoms. Treating dry skin in ~ home includes regularly making use of moisturizers on the skin. Usually, an oil-based cream is an ext effective in ~ holding in moisture 보다 a water-based cream.

Look for creams that contain the ingredients lactic acid, urea, or a mix of both. A object steroid medication, such as 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, can likewise be used if the skin is an extremely itchy. Asking a pharmacist to recommend a moisturizing cream or product the will work-related for you.

Note the products marked “lotion” rather of “cream” contain less oil. Water-based lotions might irritate xerosis cutis rather of healing her skin or soothing symptoms. Other treatment approaches include:

avoiding forced heattaking lukewarm baths or showersdrinking many of water

Natural treatments such as crucial oils and aloe are well-known for dealing with xerosis, but their impacts remain largely unproven. One study also recommends preventing aloe vera in the treatment of xerosis, together it have the right to make skin an ext sensitive. Soothing agents such as coconut oil can assist hold in moisture and relieve itching.


You should see a dermatologist if:

your skin is oozinglarge locations of her skin room peelingyou have actually a ring-shaped rashyour skin doesn’t improve within a couple of weeksyour skin gets much worse, despite treatment

You may have actually a fungal or bacter infection, an allergy, or another skin condition. Too much scratching of dried skin can additionally lead to an infection.

Dry skin in younger people may be brought about by a condition called atopic dermatitis, generally known together eczema. Eczema is identified by extremely dry, itchy skin. Blisters and also hard, scaly skin are common in world with this condition. A dermatologist can assist determine whether you or her child has actually eczema. If you are diagnosed through eczema, her treatment setup will be different from a human with xerosis cutis.

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Learn more: Eczema »

Xerosis cutis have the right to be a symptom of various other conditions, including:

thyroid issues

Therefore, it’s necessary not to ignore xerosis cutis. If itching or discomfort persists after treatment, bring the symptoms to the attention of a medical professional.


Dry skin cannot constantly be prevented, particularly as friend age. However, girlfriend can assist avoid or minimize the symptom of xerosis cutis by simply modifying your everyday routine:

Avoid bathtub or shower head water the is as well hot. Opt because that lukewarm water.Take shorter baths or showers.Avoid excessive water exposure, and do not spend extended quantities of time in a hot bathtub or pool.Use gentle cleansers without any kind of dyes, fragrances, or alcohol.Pat the skin dry after a shower v a towel rather of rubbing the towel on your body.Stay character language by drink plenty of water.Limit the usage of soap top top dry areas of skin and also choose gentle soaps through oil added.Avoid scratching the impacted area.Use oil-based moisturizing lotions frequently, specifically in the winter, and also directly complying with a bath or shower. Usage a sunscreen when going outdoors.Use a humidifier to increase the moisture of the wait in her home.
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Medically the review by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — composed by Jacquelyn Cafasso on respectable 30, 2018