Dry Skin - What Exactly Is It?

Dry Skin - What Exactly Is It?

Dry skin (clinically known as xerosis) can result from a number of causes, ranging from viruses and chronic health conditions to environmental irritations, allergic reactions and the natural aging process.

Sometimes, dry skin may not have an underlying cause.



Dry skin is also known by the following terms and variations:

  • Asteatosis occurs when the sebaceous glands exhibit decreased secretion. This term is used almost interchangeably with xerosis when discussing dry skin in the elderly.

  • Seasonal xerosis (winter itch) usually involves an itchy feeling without an accompanying rash. This condition occurs more during the cold months due to low humidity.

  • Eczema is a type of skin irritation that can range from mild to chronic and severe. Its main symptom is patches of dry, scaly skin. The tendency to develop severe eczema can be inherited.

  • Dermatitis is a term that is used interchangeably with eczema and xerosis to describe irritated skin. It can also refer to a variety of skin problems that result in skin inflammation.

  • Ichthyosis is a genetic disorder that manifests within a year of a child’s life. It is characterized by dry, thickened, scaly skin.


If you’re experiencing dry skin, recognise the exact variation and explore the reasons behind it. This would greatly help you in choosing the appropriate preventive measures, remedies and skincare solutions.