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Xerosis

Do you have very dry, flaky, cracked skin? Here is what you should know

About

Dry skin or Xerosis as its medically known is the appearance of abnormally dry, flaky, scaly or cracked skin.

This skin condition is most prevalent in individuals over the age of 65 years.[1]
- It is a common condition affecting people of all ages.
- Incidence is more among adults.
- It is an uncomfortable but minor issue.
- Usually resolves in a few weeks.
- Might need medical help in worst cases.
- Self-diagnosable

Xerosis or dryness is the occurrence of very dry, scaly, flaky or cracked skin. It can happen to people of all ages. With age the skin tends to lose moisture and oil easily, making its incidence higher among the older generation. It is more prevalent during the winter months. When Xerosis worsens it leads to dermatitis.

Ages Affected- People of all ages can be affected by Xerosis. But the elderly are more prone to dryness.

Symptoms

Self Diagnosis: A person suffering from Xerosis has extremely dry skin. Also noticed are cracks in the skin, flaky texture and patches of pink or irritated skin.

People may experience
Itchiness: in areas where the skin is dry
Flaky skin: typically white in colour
Patches: usually pink or red in color due to irritation
Cracks: seen in the areas that are very dry
Tightness: especially after contact with water like bathing

Treatment

Self-care: Regular use of an oil-based moisturizer is the first step. Hydrating the body and the skin is achieved by drinking lots of water. Bathing or showering in tepid water and avoiding excessive heat also helps. The use of essential oils prevents moisture loss.

Medication: If signs of infection are noticed and the skin doesn’t seem to respond to above-mentioned techniques it is best to get medical help. OTC topical steroids are often used.

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