What is dry skin?

Dry skin is a very common skin condition, usually characterized by irritated skin and itchiness. Dry skin often worsens in the winter, when the air is cold and dry. In addition, frequent bathing can aggravate dry skin. Dry skin may become flaky or scaly.

However, dry skin symptoms may resemble other skin conditions or result from other disorders such as an underactive thyroid or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for dry skin:

Treating dry skin may be as simple as keeping the skin moist - by taking fewer baths and using ointments or creams that keep the moisture in. Treatment may also include:

  • avoiding harsh soaps, detergents, and perfumes, which tend to dry the skin

  • avoiding rubbing or scratching the skin, which can aggravate the symptoms and cause infection

  • applying a salicylic acid solution or cream (which removes the top layer of skin) - if the skin is scaly

Medical Reviewer: [Foster, Sara RN MPH, Jenkins, Lee] Last Annual Review Date: 2011-05-19T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright 2007 Staywell Content Services, Inc. except where otherwise noted.

Your Guide to Eczema


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