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Dry skin: Overview


Dry, ashy skin: People who had atopic dermatitis as children often have very dry skin as adults.
Also called xerosis

Dry skin is common. It can occur at any age and for many reasons. Using a moisturizer often helps repair dry skin.

Sometimes people need a dermatologist's help to get relief from dry skin. Extremely dry skin can be a warning sign of a skin problem called dermatitis (derm-muh-TIE-tis).

Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. It can cause an itchy rash or patches of dry irritated skin. The earlier dermatitis is diagnosed and treated the better. Without treatment, dermatitis often gets worse.

Your doctor may call dry skin xerosis (ze-ROW-sis).


Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

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