Dry skin will look and feel rough and may also have a host of other symptoms, such as redness, itching, or flaking skin. More severe cases of dry skin can also lead to scaly feeling skin, which can often peel, cracking, or even deep fissures in the skin which may bleed. The skin may even form sores and infections from constant scratching. If these cases are left untreated, or don’t respond to home remedies, the integrity of the skin to protect the rest of the body from the environment and invading bacteria will be greatly compromised. In the most serious cases, patients may even develop cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin’s underlying tissues.
Patients of all ages and genders can be afflicted with dry skin. However, it is most common in mature skin, as the skin begins to lose its natural hydration. Dry skin is often a temporary problem that is caused by environmental factors. Common factors that cause temporary dry skin are cold weather, dry climates, and humidity decreasing devices such as central heating and cooling. Other irritants to the skin include frequent bathing and showering, especially in hot water, and using products with harsh detergents and fragrances, such as laundry detergents and skin or hair products. Sometimes, dry skin can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, or even a thyroid disorder.