What does xerosis mean?

Have you ever heard of the word ‘xerosis’ and thought it’s a new planet discovered in a galaxy far, far away? Well, I hate to burst your bubble but it’s not. Sorry for ruining your sci-fi fantasy.

If you’re curious as to what this term means, then read on (duh!).

Let’s start with the basics

Xerosis is actually a medical term that refers to dry skin. If your skin looks like scales from an ancient mythical creature that lived in the sea or simply feels rough and cracked like an abandoned earth desert, then congratulations – you have xerosis! (Bet you didn’t see that coming!)

Surprisingly enough, we all experience some degree of dryness at different times throughout our lives. Just like how everyone experiences bad hair days except for Jennifer Aniston- lucky lady!

The Science behind Xerosis

Now let me put on my lab coat so I can explain the scientific side of things. To break down xerosis into layman terms; firstly there are two layers which make up our skin:
– Epidermis
– Dermis

The outermost layer called epidermis is responsible for protecting us against external damage such as sunrays and bacterias trying to infiltrate our immune system while we sip margaritas by the beach wearing minimal sunscreen protection (Prepare yourselves folks because winter is coming).

Within this layer lies lipids (fats) which act as glue holding everything together preventing water from escaping; otherwise known as ‘trans-epidermal-water loss’. And if these handy fats decide they’re bored stiff being glued-together-stay-in-one-place turtles who don’t know how to loosen-up , say hellooo to dry skin!

This effectively breaks down xeroderma into two categories:
1. Asteatotic Eczema.
2. Ichthyosis Vulgaris.

Don’t ask me why doctors use such big words – I guess they just don’t want people to feel smart automatically when stepping into their offices.

Symptoms of Xerosis

If you’re reading this, and it’s starting to sound like your skin type woes, then let’s go through some symptoms so we can all relate on a deeper level… or itchier level in our case!
– Your skin feels tight and stiff.
– It looks dull and haggard almost like it could take 50 years off the life of Dorian Gray with ease.
– You might notice cracks even though you aren’t Indiana Jones (how strange).
– There maybe minor itching leading towards major annoyance in seconds; making you look like an overactive monkey scratching his parts at the zoo.

Who suffers from Xerosis?

Let me give it to ya straight – anyone could potentially develop dry skin from time-to-time but here are some factors that come into play:
Age increases your chances as with age comes superpowers too! Just kidding! Wrinkles :/
Extreme weather conditions will inevitably cause fluctuations ranging our very own grand canyon sides of temperature (TMI) leading to possible dryness
If you have eczema or other similar pre-existing health concerns then there is likely more vulnerability for xerosis diagnosis
Lastly if someone has low blood circulation around different areas say hands or feet then BAM hello sudden surprise guest

Diagnosis & Treatment

I know what you must be thinking but nope sorry folks, watching Notebook and engorging on chocolate icecream while having complete marathons doesn’t count as self care–Neither does ignoring your overly crispy looking epidermis considering only diamonds should shine bright (yes Rihanna we hear you) . What does help? Well unlike diamonds hydrophobic substances isn’t everyone’s best friend once you decide to be one with your skin xerosis will leave like a bad ex (Bye felips)


The doctor doesn’t need his crystal ball for this one (but it would be pretty neat) With just an observation and taking history of patient case overall decides the personal extent of severity. Remember always seek a dermatologist experienced in handling such conditions thus avoiding incorrect diagnosis through misinterpretation or mishandling.


Got some good news family! Xerosis isn’t something fixated within your genetics meaning we have control over several preventative measures; someone queue DJ Khalid please!
– Lotion, cream, ice butter- yep that works too.But make sure they contain humectants and emollients WTH? These compounds prevent water loss while aiding retention helping us achieve super smooth Ed Sheeran level goodness!
– Avoid hot baths especially during winter vibes as every mother knows on planet earth “harsh temperatures are not ideal”thus keeping up maintenance can save alot of trouble.
– Wear soft material clothes instead of ones made outta bark (owwie).
Exfoliate your dry crusted zones monthly refilling cells with moisture.
I know what you’re thinking but I’ll finish before any confusion: Hydrate from both outside AND inside – liquids are essential!


We went xylene deep into our epidermis today (heh!), learning about what is xerosis,as well as its possible triggers leaving aside The Simpsons’ yellow lookalike because last time we checked houseplants don’t develop nervousness :).
Remember folks next time you hear this word use protection –skin care protection– Alas goodbye my fellow dried-skin mates: going off now to hydrate myself (not the camel way)

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