Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Pathologic dryness of the skin.
The condition occurs when the outer layer of skin loses moisture, causing roughness, itching and redness. The most common areas affected by xerosis cutis are the face, forearms, hands, lower legs and feet, although it can appear anywhere on the body. Individuals exposed to excessive levels of sunlight and air pollutants are more prone to developing xerosis cutis, and the problem appears more frequently in winter, when relative humidity is lower.
Older people often develop xerosis cutis, as the outer layer of skin becomes less able to hold moisture with age. Some medications can also cause the condition by changing the chemical composition of the skin. Other common causes include the use of harsh soaps and detergents, frequent bathing in hot water and genetic inheritance.
Xerosis occurs when skin contains less than required amount of essential oil in the outermost layer of the epidermis due to which the water contents fail to stick to the skin. A person is also likely to get affected by the problem due to environment factors like long exposure to the extreme cold or hot or pollution.
Spending longer time in air conditioner or centrally heating system can make the skin prone to xerosis cutis. Similarly, taking bath more than twice a day or swimming a couple of hours daily also make skin drier. Another cause could be use of unsuitable soaps that eventually take out adequate of essential oils from the skin.
Sometimes few diseases like psoriasis that usually appears on the skin in the form of dry red spots covered by exfoliations can also lead to xerosis cutis. The skin can also become parched when there is some disorder in thyroid glands resulting in less production of thyroid hormones that finally decelerate the normal mobility of the sebaceous glands.
Another reason could be consumption of certain drugs can also cause xerosis cutis. Other risk factors may include intense physical exercise, dysentery, high fever, less consumption of liquids.
The symptoms of xerosis cutisare easily recognized and include itching, flaking patches of skin, which often worsen during winter or in areas of low humidity. In severe cases, the skin may begin to crack, which can lead to more serious problems. If irritants enter the cracks in dry skin, reddening, swelling, scaling and localized pain may occur. This is an indicator of eczema, a chronic, recurring, inflammatory skin condition that requires medical attention.
The doctor will first examine your skin thoroughly and inquire you whether you had any skin infection or skin disorder in the past. He would also like to know about your daily routine as well as the methods you adopt to take care of your skin. He may conduct some tests including thyroid test to ensure that the complication is not the result of any glandular disease.
Topical steroids -- for areas that get very inflamed and itchy.
Moisturizers, especially creams or lotions that contain urea and lactic acid.
If the skin becomes red, swollen or painful due to xerosis cutis, a dermatologist may prescribe corticosteroid ointment that will reduce these symptoms.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
A recent review that included the analysis of 23 studies suggests that people with blood type O have a lower risk of malaria. There are much more people with this blood type in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where severe malaria is endemic, than in Europe or the US....
A new study from the University of Iowa suggests that skipping breakfasts can increase the risk of heart disease by 87%. For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data from 6,550 people aged 40 and more with heart disease which were collected for 18 years. Most of...
In childhood, many of us dreamed of learning to jump high. Now, after years, it became easier - Kangoo Jumps has appeared. This is one of the relatively new, but quickly gaining popularity types of fitness training. There are several advantages of jumpers. ...read more
It is time for us to find the solution how to deal with extra weight which is coming with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations because 2018 is almost over and 2019 is getting closer. The main aim is obviously staying in shape and today will find an effective way to...read more
We know that moderate exercise strengthens our health and makes us more beautiful. But few know about the importance of doing sports as psychotherapy. And, nevertheless, physical loads can save from depressions, reduce anxiety, relieve from professional burnout,...read more