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Center of Dermatology and Laser Surgery of Philadelphia

Dry Skin – Xerosis

Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

Dry skin, or xerosis, is a common skin condition that many people will experience during their lifetime. The condition is usually a result of a decrease in natural oils on a person’s skin. It can be caused by aging, exposure to cold weather, and bathing too frequently with hot water. Certain climates can trigger dry skin as well. These include geographical areas that have low humidity and extremely cold winter weather. When people are exposed to bitter cold wind outdoors and then come inside to heated rooms, the skin will become brittle, dry and itchy. Dermatologists in our new Philadelphia office are trained in the treatment and management of xerosis.

At Ringpfeil Advanced Dermatology, with offices in Philadelphia, our expert dermatological team provides patients effective treatments to reduce and eliminate xerosis. With extensive experience in medical and cosmetic dermatology, our dermatologists have the expertise to uncover the factors that may be contributing to your dry skin, in addition to providing personalized treatment plans.

Diagnosing Dry Skin

Most dermatologists are able to diagnosis the condition of dry skin simply by performing a visual examination. Common symptoms of dry skin include: cracks in the skin, redness, itchiness, and a sensation of roughness. Occasionally, additional tests will be performed to ensure that the dry skin is not a sign of an inflammatory condition. A skin sample will be inspected during a biopsy to rule out additional possibilities. Some conditions that may be tested for include: hypothyroidism, HIV, Sjogren syndrome, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and fungal skin infections. This additional testing is usually only performed if the xerosis is not responding to treatment.


Dermatologists from our Ringpfeil Advanced Dermatology Philadelphia locations will recommend treatment options that work to restore the depleted water content from the skin. The patient will be instructed to bathe themselves in cooler water than what they are used to. To supplement this, gentle soap should be used while bathing. Afterwards, the body should be coated in moisturizing cream. This procedure should be followed on a regular schedule, and the patient should avoid washing themselves too frequently. During the winter, it can be difficult to control the environmental conditions and indoor temperatures. Humidifiers should be utilized when necessary to ensure that the level of humidity does not fall too low. As well, the temperature in the patient’s home should not be excessively warm, as this will dry out the skin.

How to Prevent Dry Skin

To avoid developing the condition of dry skin, certain guidelines should be followed. Following a gentle bathing routine, including the use of moisturizer, should be adhered to on a regular basis. Every time hands get washed during the day, moisturizer should be re-applied afterwards. Substances that contain rubbing alcohol, such as hand sanitizer, should be avoided. During the winter, great care should be placed on dressing appropriately to protect the skin. Minimize the amount of skin exposed to the wind by using gloves, hats, earmuffs, scarves, etc.

Dry Skin Treatment in Philadelphia

Our Ringpfeil Advanced Dermatology office in Philadelphia provides locals and out-of-towners a superior option to treat and eliminate dry skin. Our expert dermatologists will work with you to get to the root cause of the condition. Contact us today to arrange an appointment and set up your first evaluation.

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