Your skin plays a role in both protecting your body and your physical appearance. Taking good care of your skin is important, as there are several conditions that can affect this organ. Xerosis cutis is one of these conditions, which can result in extremely dry skin. Understanding what xerosis is, how it develops, and what you can do about it is important, which we will cover in this article.

What is Xerosis Cutis?

First, let’s consider a xerosis definition. This can give you a better idea of what it means. The term refers to a condition where your skin becomes abnormally dry. It is important to note that having dry skin is not generally considered abnormal. In the case of xerosis, this dryness becomes a more serious problem as the skin becomes very dry. When xerosis cutis develops, it’s possible for the condition to cause problems with your appearance. You may also experience additional symptoms, such as inflammation in the affected areas of your skin.

Who Gets Xerosis Cutis?

Some people are more likely to develop xerosis cutis. This includes older individuals[1], as the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture becomes less efficient as you grow older. The condition is especially common in people who are at least 65 years old, but it is also important to note that younger individuals can still develop this problem. The Risk Factors & Triggers Apart from older individuals, another important factor that needs to be taken into consideration is diabetes. People who have diabetes also have a greater risk of developing xerosis cutis, which is why it is crucial for these individuals to ensure they take proper care of their skin. Apart from these factors, it’s also important to consider your skincare routine. Failure to properly attend to the moisture level of your skin can result in dryness, which could also increase the risk of xerosis.

What are the Causes of Xerosis Cutis?

Apart from risk factors that make you more likely to develop the condition, it’s also important to understand the causes. There are a couple of things that can contribute to xerosis. By understanding these causes, it’s easier to implement preventative strategies in your own life.

Water that is very hot can contribute to this condition. This means you should carefully consider the water temperature you use when taking a bath or getting into the shower. Being aggressive with scrubs and cleansing formulas on your skin can also reduce natural oils and result in dryness.

Dehydration is another potential cause of xerosis cutis. While it’s important to moisturize your skin from the outside, inner hydration also contributes to your skin’s well-being.

You also contribute to xerosis cutis when you frequently expose your skin to the sun. Excessive exposure to the UV rays from the sun can damage your skin and reduce the organ’s ability to effectively retain moisture.


What are the Signs & Symptoms of Xerosis Cutis?

The most common characteristic of xerosis cutis is the dryness of your skin. With this said, it’s important to note that there are other symptoms that you should also look out for. The dryness will often affect your arms and legs, but it can also develop in other areas of your body. Apart from being dry, you may also notice scaling and experience itchiness in these regions. Your skin may also feel tight if you have xerosis cutis. If your skin is irritated, it may develop a pink or red rash. In some people, the condition also results in cracks that develop on their skin.

Is Eczema the Same as Xerosis Cutis?

If you take a closer look at the skin of someone with xerosis cutis and compare it to eczema, there are some similarities that you may observe. While some features are similar, it’s important to understand that these are not the same conditions. Eczema is known as a chronic skin condition. It’s often triggered by problems like allergies or exposure to certain irritants. Xerosis cutis, however, is generally an acute condition. There are some cases where the condition can develop into Astaetotic eczema, though.

Diagnosis of Xerosis Cutis

If you experience the signs and symptoms of xerosis cutis, it’s important to seek a physical exam from your doctor. Before treating the condition itself, you need to have a doctor assess your skin. This also allows the doctor to rule out any other potential causes behind the appearance of your skin.

An examination of your skin[2] can help the doctor determine if it is xerosis cutis. You may be referred to a dermatologist too. These healthcare professionals can help determine the cause of the condition and provide you with personalized treatment.

Can Xerosis Cutis Be Prevented?

It is possible to prevent the development of xerosis. It starts with understanding your risk factors and realizing what contributes to the condition. When you know what causes it, you can implement a strategy to reduce your own risk.

Carefully consider your skincare routine when you want to implement steps to prevent xerosis cutis. It is important to keep in mind the soaps and cleaners you use, as well as what you dry yourself off with. Harsh towels can be abrasive against your skin, which is something that you want to avoid. Use a softer towel that is still absorbent. This helps to provide a gentler effect on your skin when you dry yourself off.

Moisturization is critical when it comes to preventing xerosis cutis. The role of moisturization further increases as you get older[3] since your skin’s natural ability to retain moisture can be adversely affected. An oil-based moisturizer is a good option. You also have to consider the fact that your skin is usually drier in the winter, so increase the frequency of moisturization during these months. If you look at Infusoderm reviews, you’ll also find that a serum or cream like this can do wonders.

You can also look at products like Suvoderm, which works during the night as a repairing solution. It can be a great addition to your existing routine in order to moisturize and hydrate your skin day and night.

Another important preventative factor is to be mindful of the temperature of your bath and shower water. Water that is excessively hot can burn your skin and damage its natural barriers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which vitamin prevents xerosis?

If you do not have enough vitamin A in your body, then your risk of xerosis cutis may increase. Thus, vitamin A supplements may be a good preventative strategy if you are deficient in this nutrient. The vitamin plays a critical role in the overall well-being of your skin.

Can stress cause xerosis?

If you are suffering from chronic stress, then stress hormones are flowing through your body consistently. This can cause damage to the barrier of your skin, which reduces your skin’s moisture retention capabilities. This may indirectly lead to xerosis.

Why does xerosis happen?

A low level of moisture in the skin is one of the most likely reasons for xerosis to develop. There are different things that can contribute to this lack of moisture. Options like Dermaxsol can help to provide better moisture in your facial skin, which can help to prevent complications as well.

Does xerosis cause itching?

When your skin is extremely dry, it’s easy to become irritated. Inflammation can also develop in this situation. Both of these factors can contribute to itchiness on your skin.


Skin xerosis is unpleasant and can affect the visual appearance of your body. The condition can affect anyone, but a lack of moisture is usually the likely cause behind it. There are preventative strategies that you can use to lower your risk of developing this skin condition. Effective treatment strategies are also available to help reduce the effects that the condition has on your skin.



Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Zayed, has years of experience in the field and has been contributing to public health awareness. Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. Egypt. Dr. Zayed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. His articles were featured on many websites like HuffingtonPost, Chicagotribune . Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Zayed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayad

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