Dry Skin


What is dry skin?

Dry skin is a very common skin condition. It can make your skin feel irritated and itchy. Dry skin often worsens in the winter when the air is cold and dry. Bathing often also makes it worse. With no treatment, dry skin may become flaky or scaly.


Dry skin happens when skin loses too much moisture. Skin thins with age. So, older adults often have dry skin. Other causes of dry skin include:

  • Living in dry, desert climates
  • Swimming
  • Jobs that need frequent hand-washing
  • Bathing often
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Cold air
  • Hot water


Dry skin can affect people differently. Dry skin may present like:

  • Rough skin that is scaly or flaky
  • Mild to moderate itching
  • Cracking skin that may bleed
  • Chapped or cracked lips

How is dry skin diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can usually diagnose dry skin by examining your skin. He or she may also ask about your medical history and your daily habits. If your healthcare provider thinks your dry skin may be due to an underlying health problem, he or she may do other tests.

Call Stonegate Dermatology if:

  • You have 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
  • You have red and swollen skin that may be infected