Xerosis

Xerosis is an abnormal dryness of the skin or mucus membranes.

Causes

Dry skin usually gets worse during the winter.

Older people are usually affected more by this condition.

Symptoms

The skin is dry, scaly, itchy, and red. Fine cracks may appear on the skin.

The arms and legs are usually affected most.

Treatment

Treatments include:

  • Moisturizers, especially those that contain urea and lactic acid
  • Topical steroids -- for areas that get very inflamed and itchy

Prevention

  • Avoid excess exposure to water
  • Keep the bath water relatively cool
  • Use gentle skin cleansers that do not contain dyes and fragrances

Alternative Names

Asteatotic eczema; Eczema craquele