Xerosis: Here Are All The Tips For Treating Dehydrated Skin

Xerosis consists of a pathological form of dry skin. It affects not only the skin of the body of the face but also the nasal, oral, and primarily ocular mucous membranes. It can occur in any age group, from infants to the elderly, but it is certainly more common among the over 65s. Some natural products and remedies reduce this chronic form of dry and cracked skin. Still, there are several tips to follow in everyday life: use cleansers with neutral and delicate pH, do not leave your hands and face wet and do not expose yourself to too much sun or cold without adequate protection. Let’s find out what are the causes of this disorder and how to remedy it with natural products and practical advice.

What Is Xerosis

It is a chronic form of dry skin that manifests with widespread roughness, redness, and cracking. Sometimes, there is also the presence of fissures and minor cuts that can cause bleeding and itching. It is not a contagious disease and is not even severe, but it is very annoying because the skin becomes tight and loses turgor and its natural elasticity. For this reason, it quickly encounters minor cuts and superficial cracks, which can be a receptacle for infections. If left untreated, it could turn into atopic dermatitis.

Symptoms Of Xerosis

The affected skin lacks water. And this can be seen from several signs:

  1. flaking
  2. cracks
  3. If the problem worsens, these symptoms are also accompanied by: itch
  4. redness
  5. even intense pain

The Causes Of Xerosis

It is a problem closely linked to excessive skin dehydration. But there are some risk factors:

  1. climatic factors, i.e., exposure to intense cold or dry heat without humidity or windy climate
  2. prolonged exposure to UV rays
  3. contact with chemicals, solvents, irritating products
  4. excessive or too frequent use of personal hygiene detergents or detergents

In addition to these, it also affects a lot:

  1. Age, as this problem is, in fact, much more common among the over 65s
  2. genetic predisposition
  3. Wrong feeding. Following a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential and can be excellent advice to keep the skin well hydrated.

Xerosis: How To Cure It

This problem of excessive dryness must be treated and cannot be underestimated or overlooked because, being particularly tense and sensitive, it can easily open in cuts and become infected. The treatment begins with the exclusive use of unique soaps and detergents and with continuous hydration with creams containing substances such as urea, glycerin, glycolic acid, tartaric acid, and petroleum jelly, the most recommended substance in the treatment of xerosis. 

It is characterized by its emollient qualities and its ability to create an occlusive film that protects the skin from unfavorable conditions that can damage the skin, reducing lipids. In general, therefore, an anti-xerosis product must contain:

  1. lipids, especially ceramides and sterols
  2. moisturizing substances and hydrophilic polymers such as collagen
  3. hyaluronic acid
  4. allantoin
  5. alpha hydroxy acids

Your GP or dermatologist must recommend Anti Xerosis products. The risk is also to buy emollient and moisturizing products whose composition can worsen the situation. Those suffering from xerosis must use complete lines of nourishing and emollient products indicated explicitly for this, from soap to cleanser to shower gel to the body, hand, and face cream. In addition, it must always keep the skin dry and hydrated.

Xerosis: How It Is Prevented

In addition to the actual treatment, you must observe behaviors and a lifestyle that prevents this skin problem, especially if you are at risk also because it is a relapse.

  1. do not have excessive temperature in the house
  2. always keep the rooms well humidified
  3. do not expose excessively to the sun’s rays
  4. use plenty of protective cream with high protective factor for sensitive skin
  5. protect the skin with petroleum jelly if the climate is harsh
  6. please do not overdo it with baths and showers, and do not use too hot water
  7. use soaps specially formulated for sensitive skin
  8. always keep the skin dry and well hydrated

But not only that, but it is also essential to have healthy behaviors:

  1. abound with healthy food, especially lots of vegetables and fruits
  2. drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day
  3. do not wear clothes that are too tight and prefer cotton on the skin
  4. wash clothes with mild detergents
  5. not smoking

All Forms Of Xerosis

It can occur for different reasons, but certainly, some forms are the most common and are those that interest:

  1. seniors
  2. infants
  3. diabetics

Among the various forms, ocular xerosis should be emphasized, which affects the dehydration of the eye’s mucous membranes.

Senile Skin Xerosis

Dry, tight, and fragile skin mainly affects the elderly or, in any case, over 65 years of age. Aging brings with it various other ailments, which can also aggravate the dryness of the skin. The sebaceous and sweat glands also reduce their activity as we age. This is because of

  1. kidney pathologies
  2. hypothyroidism
  3. neurological diseases that reduce sweating
  4. biliary diseases
  5. tumors
  6. radiotherapy

These diseases can cause dry skin and are more common in people of a certain age. Furthermore, the physiological aging process involves, at the level of the dermis, a decrease in cell renewal and the alteration of collagen fibers. At the epidermal level, there are alterations in the skin barrier and in the ability to retain water. This causes a reduction in skin elasticity and skin hydration. In the elderly, tight, cracked, and scaly skin occurs, which may accompany redness and itching.

Skin Xerosis In Children

Even very young children, under three years old, can suffer from it because their skin is very delicate and must be treated with the utmost attention. Use hypoallergenic and clinically tested products for the most sensitive skin.

Xerosis In Diabetic Subjects

In people with diabetes, it is not uncommon for high glucose levels to cause endothelial damage. The skin appears dehydrated, cracked, and up to get ulcers and bacterial and fungal infections. The skin in the diabetic is often poorly vascularized with a minimum supply of water, nutrients, and oxygen. For this reason, it must be treated with particular care and attention and always kept well hydrated with creams and oils suitable for this pathology.

Ocular Xerosis

Ocular xerosis is caused by reduced lacrimation that gradually causes eye dryness. The causes are to be found in:

  1. vitamin A deficiency
  2. sarcoidosis
  3. lupus erythematosus
  4. tear gland problems
  5. bacterial infections
  6. thyroid problems
  7. diabetes
  8. scleroderma

External causes can also lead to this eye disorder:

  1. environmental pollution
  2. taking certain medications
  3. smoke

This is a more severe form of xerosis and should be treated by your eye doctor.

Symptoms And Treatment Of Ocular Xerosis

The first symptoms are:

  1. dryness and little tearing
  2. itch
  3. burning

Visual fatigue, photophobia, and thickening of the area affected by the disorder can also follow. In case, it is advisable to contact your doctor, who will refer you to a reference specialist.

Natural Remedies For Skin Xerosis

To cure the phenomenon, there are natural remedies: vegetable fats, oils, mucilages, and gels. Here are the most suitable products of natural origin against xerosis of the skin.

Vegetable Butter For Skin Xerosis

Vegetable butter is highly appreciated for relieving dry skin conditions, moisturizing, and nourishing locally because it is easy to spread and dissolves easily in contact with the skin. They have an intense emollient and moisturizing effect, nourishing the hydrolipidic film and preventing the evaporation of surface water with a barrier effect. In addition to this, many have a significant natural healing product. Prefer:

  1. shea butter
  2. cocoa butter
  3. mango butter
  4. murumuru butter
  5. bacuri butter
  6. salt butter
  7. butter extracted from scuba

Beeswax For Cutaneous Xerosis

Beeswax, the excellent extract of bees, is a fatty substance with an emollient, nourishing and moisturizing action due to its film-forming effect. It is used in different formulations, from creams to lipsticks, cosmetic products, and cleansers for skin, face, and hair, even in some cosmetic preparations. Also ideal for skin affected by xerosis.

Vegetable Oils For Cutaneous Xerosis

Generally, vegetable oil is easy to apply and immediately relieves skin that dehydrates deeply. It has an emollient and moisturizing but also nourishing action. Furthermore, it contains active ingredients that favor the normal functions of the skin, rebalance its physiological structure, and the integrity of the surface hydrolipidic film. They can be rather greasy and therefore unpleasant to the touch. It is advisable to massage the skin when it is damp, for example, after a shower, to facilitate oil absorption. Among the most used oils for skin dryness:

  1. borage oil with a calming, anti-inflammatory, and soothing action for chapped and reddened skin that itch
  2. calendula oil, with moisturizing and soothing action, reduces itching and redness even after exposure to the sun or cold
  3. a wheat germ with moisturizing, protective, endemic, nourishing, and anti-wrinkle action, rich in vitamin E
  4. sweet almond oil rich in Vitamin A and E.


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