Xerosis or Dry Skin

Xerosis or dry skin is not an uncommon dermatological condition which can be very bothersome for those who suffer from it.How common is dry skin and what are the causes and preventive measures?


What is dry skin?

Dry skin,as the name suggests,is skin that has lost its suppleness and as a result is dry leading to scaly texture or patchy appearance. In severe cases,abrasions and bleeding can also occur.



Is it common?

Oh yes,fairly common across all ages including kids.


Who are at risk?

People living in dry climates with frequent exposure to water and chemicals can develop dry skin.Furthermore,elderly people are at increased risk as thin skins lose their sebaceous glands and sweat glands as well as its elasticity.


What are the causes of Xerosis?

  • Climate: Low-humidity cold conditions particularly.

  • Age: As told earlier,old age gets synonymous with dry skin.

  • Irritants: These include harsh and hard detergents and soaps which washes away the oily nature of skin.

  • Health issues: Especially noticed in chronic kidney patients or diabetic individuals.

  • Medications: As seen after chemotherapy for cancer etc.

  • Excess bathing or scrubbing.

What are the symptoms of dry skin?

The symptoms can vary based on a number of other factors:

  • Rough cracked skin

  • Scales.

  • Itching

  • Non-pliable skin.

What can it lead to if not taken care of?

It can lead to complications such as eczema,or dermatitis prone to infections with improper skin care.



How can I prevent dry skin?

As far as dry skin is concerned,prevention is better than cure.The following tips may help you for the same:

  1. Always select a soap which is soft and gentle on your skin.

  2. Avoid frequent washes with water and contact with irritant substances.

  3. Minimize sun exposure.

  4. Application of Moisturizers can help a great deal.

  5. Stay hydrated.

  6. Stop smoking.

  7. Shaving with care and always use a lather forming agent or lubricant over the skin first.

  8. Keep out of stress.

  9. Protective equipments to limit exposure.

  10. Baby care-always ensure that the skin of your little ones are treated with utmost care.Always use products after consulting with your paediatrician rather than blindly believing product advertisements.

Dry skin can be the forerunner of other serious dermatological condition such as psoriasis.Some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism-where the body produces insufficient thyroxine hormone-can also present as dry skin.Hence the significance of getting worked up after seeing a dermatologist.


What are the treatment options?

Moisturizers: The cornerstone of treatment of dry skin,these emollients help in softening and smoothening the skin forming a protective barrier.



Medications: Sometimes,topical medications are given to reduce the inflammation.


Humidifiers: Hot and dry indoor circulating air can parch sensitive skin.A portable humidifier can alleviate this to a good extent.


Fabrics: Use fabrics which are least irritant to your skin.Use detergents without dyes or perfumes for laundry.


Remember,if you have or think you have dry skin,always visit a dermatologist and heed their advice before self-treatment.Today's ads can be a lot misleading and might multiply your troubles.Often skincare tips and advices offered over media have no scientific evidence and may make things worse.


Care for your skin and let it glow brighter!


What are your thoughts? Let me hear them!


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