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Xerosis - Symptoms and Treatment

Xerosis is the medical term for dry skin. Dry skin, also called xerosis, is a common problem. Dry skin can affect any part of the body, as the only significant oil glands we have are on the "T-zone" of the central face, armpits, and groin. Xerosis can affect any area of the skin, although the more vulnerable areas are the face, hands, feet, legs (shins), abdomen genitals, and arm-pits. If this oil is removed, then the skin becomes dry which can lead to cracking, which can lead to inflammation. The climate in central Illinois and specifically Champaign-Urbana makes dry skin symptoms more severe, especially for our students who come from more humid geographical areas. Xerosis is usually a long-term problem that recurs often, especially in the winter. The hydration is maintained by a barrier in the top most layer of the skin that guards against trans-epidermal water loss and this barrier is made up of fats released by the sebaceous glands (oil glands) and layers of the skin. Xerosis develops due to a decrease in the natural oils in the outer layer of skin, which makes the skin losing lose water. Xerosis is an abnormal dryness of the skin or mucous membranes. The best way to relieve dry skin is to use a moisturizer. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed by symptoms rather than conditions, as each case of a particular illness can manifest differently in different people.

Xerosis, or dry skin, is a condition of rough, dry skin with fine outer skin material and, occasionally, with small cracks. Dryness is exacerbated by wind, extremes of temperature and air-conditioning, all of which cause the skin to flake, chap and feel tight. The treatment "winter itch" is to increase the relative humidity of the air; decrease factors that may exacerbate the problem, such as excessive bathing and the use of harsh soaps; and moisturize the skin with emollient creams, lotions, or ointments. Dry skin has a low level of sebum and can be prone to sensitivity. Xerosis or dryness of the skin is the result of decreased water content in the stratum corneum which leads to abnormal desquamation of the corneocytes. Often itchy, xerosis is caused by environmental factors, such as cold weather and frequent bathing, and by medical conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and malnutrition. Habitually showering or bathing more than once a day should be avoided to prevent dry skin. The skin protects the body against infection, and if the outer layer of skin becomes cracked or broken, the chance of infection, including cellulitis , increases. Treatment is primarily symptomatic. "Xero", meaning dry or dehydrated, "osis" usually reffering to a medical disease or disorder.

Causes of Xerosis

Common Causes of Xerosis :-

  • The main cause of xerosis is lack of moisture .
  • Washing with excessively hot water.
  • Use of harsh soaps can worsen and cause xerosis.
  • The main cause of xerosis is the family history of dryness skin.
  • Increasing age , resulting in decreased natural lubrication, which in turn leads to xerosis.
  • Environmental factors such as air pollutants , cold and dry air are among the commonest causes of xerosis.

Symptoms of Xerosis

Some common Symptoms of Xerosis :-

  • Redness.
  • Skin feels rough.
  • Skin appearing shrunken or dehydrated.
  • Itching.
  • Worst in winter due to low humidity.
  • Deep fissures or cracks that may bleed.

Treatment of Xerosis

Some common Treatment of Xerosis :-

  • Treatment is intended to restore the natural oil to your skin.
  • Use lukewarm water, not hot. Hot water dries out the skin.
  • After the shower apply a bath oil or a moisturizer to all of the skin as above.
  • Soap irritates and dries the skin, soap should not be used on your xerotic skin.
  • If you like to swim during the winter months, you should not use soap when getting out of the pool. When you have finished swimming, rinse off the chlorine with cool to warm water.
  • Keep the skin lubricated.
  • When bathing limit the use of soap to your face, armpits, genital area, and feet. Use Cetaphil soap, Oil of Olay, Dove or Basis.








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