Xerosis – Cracked, Chapped, Scaling, and Itching

Extremely dry skin, characterized by being cracked, chapped, scaling, and itching, is called xerosis.

While dry skin can be a fairly common skin issue, it is usually easily remedied with a good moisturizer and other easy precautions.

Sometimes extremely dry skin requires the care of a dermatologist. Extremely dry skin can mean dermatitis, a skin condition characterized by inflamed skin with an itchy rash.

Extremely dry skin is also called xerosis. Xerosis is characterized by rough, scaly and itchy skin. For those with darker skin tones, skin can appear ashy or gray. Severe xerosis can cause cracked bleeding skin and lips. One concern with cracked skin is that germs may get through cracked skin and cause infections.

If your skin stays this dry when using moisturizing precautions, you might want to see your dermatologist to see if there is an underlying medical condition.

Your dermatologist can also recommend the best moisturizing cream or lotion for your particular skin. Prescription products that contain lactic or urea acid help to hold water in the skin.

Extreme xerosis may also require a prescribed medication such as a corticosteroid or an immune modulator.

These treatments along with moisturizing throughout the day should produce some good outcomes for those with xerosis.

When bathing, use warm water and gentle cleansers that are moisture rich and fragrance-free. If you shave your legs or face, shave right after bathing and use a shaving cream. Lather the area and let it sit for a few minutes before shaving. Remember to replace new blades after about seven shaves.

At home, use a humidifier to keep the air moist. At night, moisturize your body and also use a lip balm that contains petroleum jelly or mineral oil.

Contact Northstar Dermatology if you are experiencing these symptoms or any other abnormal skin conditions. Your neighborhood NorthStar Dermatologist would be happy to consult with you about xerosis and provide treatment options.

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