Causes and management of Xerosis

 

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Xerosis generally referred to as dry skin is a very common skin condition that occurs at all ages. In most cases, it is not a serious problem but sometimes it can be difficult to treat. Moreover, it might be correlated to other skin diseases or associated to pathological conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, malnutrition amongst others.

Symptoms
Dehydration Peeled, irritated and inflamed skin Rough, scaly, painful skin Intense redness and itchiness skin shows the tendency to crack, Deep fissures leading to bleeding.

 

Causes
Usage of harsh soap Itchy clothing Long and hot showers or baths Exposure to hot or cold weather with low humidity levels Several drugs, as diuretics or topical and systemic retinoids, may temporary cause dry skin and, generally, it resolves interrupting the treatment. Metabolic changes i.e tendency to reduce liquid intake Hormone imbalances that occur in menopause, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism.

 

When to seek medical attention
Chronic or severe dry skin problems require a dermatologist’s advice. It is important have a diagnosis to exclude concomitant skin diseases as mentioned above. Dermatologist may evaluate and identify causes and get the necessary treatment: commonly, for people with dry skin, the best treatment is a moisturized cream or emollients, but if necessary, he may prescribe a steroid cream or ointment in association. For clinical picture characterized by intense itchy, which interferes with daily activities and sleep, antihistamine pills may be prescribed.

 

Treatment and prevention
Choose short showers over baths and apply a moisturizer after shower or hands washing Use moisturizing creams, emollients or ointments moisturizers several times a day Use a non-alcohol-based moisturizer. Use a mild non-soap skin cleanser Avoid antibacterial soaps.
Install a humidifier in your home or add it to the central heating system to maintain the air moisturized during the winter and in dry weather.
Do not rub or scratch the skin Wear gloves, hats, and scarves in the winter
Avoid dehydration caused by drinking alcohol and by neglecting to replace fluids lost through sweating Avoid itchy clothing.



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