Dry Skin (Xerosis)
Dry skin is common. It can occur at any age and for many reasons. Lack of daily moisturizers and excessive use of harsh, drying soaps and hot water while bathing can lead to dry skin. As we age, our oil glands shrink in size and produce less oil predisposing us to dry skin. Harsh winter winds, low humidity environments, chlorinated pools and chronic sun exposure can all cause dry skin. In addition, some people are born with a genetic predisposition for dry skin, hay fever and allergic skin reactions like eczema. Even in non-allergy prone people, extremely dry skin can lead to a skin problem called dermatitis (derm-muh-TIE-tis) or eczema. Dermatitis or eczema is an inflammatory reaction of the skin. It appears as an itchy rash with patches of dry, red, irritated skin. The earlier dermatitis is diagnosed and treated the better. Without treatment, dermatitis gets worse.
One of the main points of treatment for dry skin is restoring a healthy barrier function of the skin with emollients and when eczema is present, calming the inflammation with topical remedies and bathing measures.
Often people need a dermatologist's help to get relief from severe dry skin.
Contact Dr. Heather Roberts for further information.