Dry Skin Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Dry skin, medically known as xerosis or xeroderma, is usually a mild condition caused by environmental factors, although dry skin can also result from some common skin ailments. Inherited diseases of the skin known as ichthyoses, while very rare, can also cause disfiguration and excessively dry skin. Even systemic conditions (conditions that affect the entire body) can lead to dry skin. One example is hypothyroidism, which reduces the activity of the glands that produce skin secretions. Some medications, including retinoids for the skin as well as some antihistamines and diuretics, may have dry skin as a side effect.
Dry skin can be associated with symptoms, including
- rough skin or tightness of skin.
Dry skin can result from environmental factors such as hot baths/showers, soaps, or detergents.
Dry skin is treated with hydrating creams and lotions. If a skin inflammatory condition is associated with dry skin, treatment is directed at the underlying condition.
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Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Main Article on Dry Skin
Causes of Dry Skin
In This ArticleAtopic Dermatitis Article
- Atopic dermatitis facts
- What is atopic dermatitis?
- What is the difference between atopic dermatitis and eczema?
- How common is atopic dermatitis?
- What causes atopic dermatitis?
- Is atopic dermatitis contagious?
- What are atopic dermatitis symptoms and signs?
- Can atopic dermatitis affect the face?
- What are the stages of atopic dermatitis?
- How do physicians diagnose atopic dermatitis?
- What factors can aggravate atopic dermatitis?
- What are skin irritants in patients with atopic dermatitis?
- What are allergens?
- What are aeroallergens?
- What is the treatment for atopic dermatitis?
- What is the prognosis of atopic dermatitis?
In This ArticleDandruff (Seborrhea) Article
- Dandruff facts
- What is dandruff?
- What specialties of doctors treat dandruff?
- What are the causes of dandruff? What are dandruff symptoms and signs?
- How do doctors diagnose the cause of dandruff?
- What treatments are available for dandruff?
- What doesn't help dandruff?
- Are there home remedies for dandruff?
- If over-the-counter products don't work, what can the doctor prescribe for dandruff?
- What is the prognosis of dandruff?
- Is it possible to prevent dandruff?
In This ArticleDehydration Article
- Dehydration facts
- What is dehydration?
- What causes dehydration?
- Dehydration pictures
- What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
- What about dehydration in children?
- How is dehydration diagnosed?
- How is dehydration treated?
- Can I treat dehydration at home?
- What are the complications of dehydration?
- Can dehydration be prevented?
In This ArticleDiabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
- Diabetes type 1 and type 2 definition and facts
- What is diabetes?
- How many people in the US have diabetes?
- 9 early signs and symptoms of diabetes
- How do I know if I have diabetes?
- What causes diabetes?
- What are the risk factors for diabetes?
- What are the different types of diabetes?
- What is type 1 diabetes
- What is type 2 diabetes
- What are the other types of diabetes?
- What kind of doctor treats diabetes?
- How is diabetes diagnosed?
- Why is blood sugar checked at home?
- What are the acute complications of diabetes?
- What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
- What can be done to slow the complications of diabetes?
- What is the prognosis for a person with diabetes?
In This ArticleDiabetic Ketoacidosis Article
- Diabetic ketoacidosis facts
- What is diabetic ketoacidosis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis?
- How does diabetic ketoacidosis occur?
- Who is at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis?
- What are the complications of diabetic ketoacidosis?
- What kind of doctor treats diabetic ketoacidosis?
- How is diabetic ketoacidosis diagnosed?
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In This ArticleEczema Article
- Eczema facts
- What is eczema?
- Are there different types of eczema? What causes eczema?
- What are eczema symptoms and signs?
- How is eczema diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for eczema?
- What are home remedies for eczema?
- Does diet affect eczema?
- Is there a cure for eczema?
- Is eczema contagious?
- What is the prognosis of eczema?
- Is it possible to prevent eczema?
In This ArticleHypothyroidism Article
- Hypothyroidism definition and facts
- What is hypothyroidism?
- Where is the thyroid located, and what are thyroid hormones?
- What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
- How do thyroid hormones work?
- What causes hypothyroidism?
- How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
- How is hypothyroidism treated?
- What is subclinical hypothyroidism?
- What's best for you?
In This ArticleIs Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) Contagious? Article
- What is leprosy?
- Is leprosy contagious?
- What is the incubation period for leprosy?
- How will I know if someone has leprosy?
- How is leprosy transmitted?
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- When should I contact a medical caregiver about leprosy?
In This ArticleKeratosis Pilaris Article
- Keratosis pilaris (KP) facts
- What is keratosis pilaris?
- Who gets keratosis pilaris?
- Does keratosis pilaris affect the entire body?
- What causes keratosis pilaris?
- What are the signs and symptoms of keratosis pilaris?
- What types of doctors treat keratosis pilaris?
- How do doctors diagnose keratosis pilaris?
- Does diet have anything to do with keratosis pilaris?
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- Is keratosis pilaris contagious?
- What conditions mimic keratosis pilaris?
- Are there home remedies for keratosis pilaris?
- What is the treatment for keratosis pilaris?
- What are possible complications of keratosis pilaris?
- What is the prognosis of patients with keratosis pilaris?
In This ArticlePsoriasis Article
- Psoriasis facts
- What is psoriasis?
- What are psoriasis causes and risk factors?
- What are the different types of psoriasis?
- Can psoriasis affect my joints?
- Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
- What are psoriasis symptoms and signs? What does psoriasis look like?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose psoriasis?
- Eczema vs. psoriasis
- How many people have psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis contagious?
- Is there a cure for psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis hereditary?
- What specialties of doctors treats psoriasis?
- What is the treatment for psoriasis?
- What creams, lotions, and home remedies are available for psoriasis?
- Are psoriasis shampoos available?
- What oral medications are available for psoriasis?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis?
- Is there a psoriasis diet?
- What about light therapy for psoriasis?
- What is the long-term prognosis with psoriasis? What are complications of psoriasis?
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- Is there a national psoriasis support group?
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In This ArticleSunburn (Sun Poisoning) Article
- Sunburn and sun poisoning facts
- What is sunburn?
- Can sunburn cause permanent damage?
- What is UV light and where are UV rays most intense?
- What are the symptoms of sunburn?
- What are the symptoms of severe sunburn (sun poisoning)?
- Sunburn pictures
- What first-aid measures should be taken with sunburn?
- What is the treatment for sunburn?
- Are there any home remedies to treat sunburn?
- Is a follow-up visit with a physician necessary?
- Who is most susceptible to sunburn?
- Can diseases cause a heightened sensitivity to UV rays?
- What kinds of skin cancer can UV rays cause?
- How can sunburn and skin cancer be prevented?
- How do sunscreens work?
- What is SPF?
- What is the best way to apply sunscreen?
- Do sunscreens expire?
- Can antioxidants protect against sunburn?
Other Causes of Dry Skin
- Bathing in Hot Water
- Contact Dermatitis
- Frequent Bathing
- Harsh Scrubbing of Skin
- Harsh Soaps and Personal Hygiene Products
- Heavily Chlorinated Pools and Hot Tubs
- Ichthyosis Vulgaris
- Low Humidity
- Medication Side Effects
- Neurodermatitis (Lichen Simplex Chronicus)
- Vitamin A Deficiency
- Weather and Seasonal Factors (Skin Is Typically Driest in Wintry Conditions)
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
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