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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Dry Skin: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Dry Skin

Alternate Names : Asteatosis

Dry Skin | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the symptom?

People subject to dry skin should soak thoroughly while bathing or showering. However, they should limit the amount of soap they use and the length of time they're exposed to the water. Some people may be able to use mild, moisturizing soap all over the body. A few need to limit soap use to the underarms and genitalia.

After patting skin dry with a towel, the individual should apply a moisturizer. Two types of moisturizers are available over-the-counter:

  • cosmetic moisturizers, which provide immediate relief of dry skin but last only while they are applied to the skin. For people with a mild case of dry skin, a cosmetic moisturizer is enough to keep the skin from feeling dry.
  • therapeutic moisturizers, which have demonstrated the ability to act as a barrier that keeps water from evaporating from the skin. Many therapeutic moisturizers contain mineral oil or petroleum.
  • The healthcare provider may also prescribe creams containing alpha hydroxy acids or urea to get rid of dead skin and minimize itching.

    What are the long-term effects of the symptom?

    If dry skin is severe enough and remains untreated, it can lead to eczema.

    What are the risks to others?

    Dry skin is not contagious and poses no risk to others.

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    Dry Skin: Diagnosis & Tests


    Dry Skin: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Lynn West, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/25/01

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