Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Xeroderma Overview

Another name for Xeroderma is Dry Skin.

What causes dry skin?
A person with dry skin has a condition in which the surface of the skin does not make enough oil to keep it moist. Oil production decreases with age. Most people with dry skin do not have a serious illness. Dry skin is common and often responds to simple therapy at home. A small number of people can have skin conditions which can make the skin overly dry. Examples include atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

What symptoms can be associated with dry skin?
Symptoms that may be associated with dry skin include scaling, peeling, itching, cracking, and wrinkled skin. Dry skin often feels rough to the touch and may become reddened if irritation develops.

How does the doctor treat dry skin?
Severe or persistent dry skin that does not respond to home care may need to be treated by your doctor. Home care should include use of a moisturizing lotion and avoiding harsh soaps that could over-dry the skin. Frequent bathing can also lead to over-drying. Other treatments for dry skin may include oatmeal baths, avoiding sun exposure, and sunscreen.

Continue to Xeroderma Symptoms

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Xeroderma References
  1. Hashizume H. Skin aging and dry skin. J Dermatol. 2004 Aug;31(8):603-9. [15492432]
  2. Holden C, English J, Hoare C, Jordan A, Kownacki S, Turnbull R, Staughton RC. Advised best practice for the use of emollients in eczema and other dry skin conditions. J Dermatolog Treat. 2002 Sep;13(3):103-6. [12227871]
  3. Rawlings AV, Matts PJ. Stratum corneum moisturization at the molecular level: an update in relation to the dry skin cycle. J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Jun;124(6):1099-110. [15955083]
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