What Is Dry Skin?
Dry skin is a very common skin condition, usually characterized by irritated skin and itchiness.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin can result from aging, a dry climate, excessive exposure to water and soaps, malnutrition, renal (kidney) disease or hereditary skin conditions. Without treatment, dry skin may become flaky or scaly.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Skin
Common symptoms of dry skin include:
- Occurs first on the shins and later on the rest of the legs, arms and trunk
- Appears scaly and can develop cracks and fissures
- Itches and is rough and dull
Dry skin symptoms may resemble other skin conditions or result from other disorders. It is always important to 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 moisture in. At UCLA Dermatology, our physicians may prescribe a prescription medication to apply to your skin if it does not respond to lifestyle changes such as:
- Avoiding harsh soaps, detergents and perfumes that can dry the skin
- Applying moisturizers immediately after bathing or showering and reapplying frequently
- Avoiding rubbing or scratching the skin, which can aggravate symptoms and cause infection
- Applying a salicylic acid solution or cream, which removes the top layer of skin, if the skin is scaly
Call your physician if:
- There is itching without a visible rash
- The itching and dryness are so bad you can't sleep
- You have scratched so hard that you have open cuts or sores
- Home remedies have not relieved the dryness and itching
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.