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What is xerosis?
Xerosis (pronounced "zeer-o-sis")
is the medical term for dry skin. Xerosis may become flaky and itchy, a
condition known as "Pruritis".
When it becomes red and painful, it is known as "Eczema".
What causes xerosis?
Xerosis may be caused by
washing. (It may seem like bathing should be helpful to treat dry
skin, but washing the feet will remove oils in the skin, thereby drying it.)
- Using harsh
soaps. (Many soaps will remove oils even more effectively than plain
water. Good choices are moisturizing soaps.)
associated with medical conditions such as
(Alterations in the function of nerves will alter how the skin regulates its
- Certain endocrine
- Excessive use of
certain topical medications that may dry the skin.
- Winter weather.
(Home heating systems usually dry the air, thereby drying the skin.)
- Certain types of
you treat xerosis?
of xerosis usually involves one of the following methods:
(creams that put moisture back into the skin).
(creams that prevent moisture in the skin from evaporating.)
(Preferably applied directly to the skin and not in a bath, which again, may
dry the skin.)
(topical agents that remove the dead, flaky portions of skin.)
Examples include the Urea creams (such as Uremol and Ultramide), Lactic acid
creams (such as Lac-Hydrin), Hyaluronic Acid creams (such as Dormer 211),
Salicylic Acids creams (such as Kerasal).
are many fungal medications--sprays, liquids, oils, powders, creams,
ointments, lotions, and pills--that may resolve xerosis caused by fungal
infection. The most common group of anti-fungals is the
"-azoles" group (Econazole, Miconazole, Ticonazole, etc.)
When over-the-counter agents fail, prescription medications from your
podiatrist may be necessary.