Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Xerosis Overview

Another name for Xerosis is Asteatotic Eczema.

What is asteatotic eczema?
A person with asteatotic eczema or xerosis has a skin condition characterized by abnormal dryness of skin and mucus membranes. The most common location for this condition is on the legs where it causes redness and a fissuring (web-like) pattern on the skin. Factors which can contribute to the development of asteatotic eczema include: advanced age, dehydration, and malnutrition. Asteatotic eczema may be associated with the cessation of topical corticosteroid creams or ointments, certain neurological disorders, and skin irritation (contact dermatitis) from the use of certain chemicals, soaps, or detergents.

How is asteatotic eczema treated?
Treatment includes the use of humidifiers, short cool baths (no hot baths), avoidance of harsh cleansers, reducing the use of soap on involved skin. Patients should be encouraged to use petrolatum based emollients after bathing and moisturizing creams. Topical corticosteroids may be prescribed in some cases.

Last Updated: May 17, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Xerosis References
  1. Emergency medicine: a comprehensive study guide; Judith E. Tintinalli, Gabor D. Kelen, J. Stephan Stapczynski - 2004
  2. Ferri's Clinical Advisor, Fred F. Ferri - 2007
  3. Genetics Home Reference, National Institutes of Health
  4. Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Mark Dambro - 2006
  5. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Anthony S. Fauci, Eugene Braunwald, Dennis L. Kasper, Stephen L. Hauser, Dan L. Longo, J. Larry Jameson, Joseph Loscalzo - 2008
  6. Nelson textbook of pediatrics, Robert Kliegman, Richard E. Behrman, Waldo Emerson Nelson - 2007
  7. Office of Rare Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health
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