The most common locations for dry skin include:

  • Legs, especially the fronts of the lower legs (shins)
  • Arms
  • Trunk, especially the side areas between the bottom rib and the hip (flanks)
  • Backs of the hands

Dry skin appears as dull, rough skin with fine scales that flake off easily. In more advanced stages of dry skin, the skin may have cracks. Inflammation of the areas may lead to pink or red patches. Dry skin can be completely without symptoms (asymptomatic), though more inflamed skin tends to be mildly to severely itchy.



Minor cases of xerosis can often be self-diagnosed. If you do see a healthcare provider, a physical exam by your healthcare provider, coupled with your medical history, is all that’s typically used to diagnose xerosis. The healthcare provider will likely ask you about your current skin care routine, including the products you’re using on your skin. In some cases, your healthcare provider might do testing to check for underlying conditions that may be contributing to your dry skin

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Allergies can cause a type of dermatitis called allergic dermatitis. In this condition the allergy to the triggering substance induces skin and redness.

Very few diseases are hereditary in nature. Majority of the dry skin cases are due to environmental factors and lifestyle of the individual.