Dry Skin - Signs and Symptoms

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What are signs and symptoms of dry skin?

The key symptom of dry skin is itching. People who have dry skin can often find rough, dry, red patches on their skin, and these patches are often itchy. Typical skin areas affected include arms, hands, lower legs, abdomen, and areas of friction such as ankles and soles. As skin dryness becomes more severe, cracks and fissures may evolve.

Symptoms and signs:

  • Itching
  • Rough dry skin
  • Red patches

The itchy feeling may worsen the severity of dry skin. Itching can lead to the development of the "itch-scratch" cycle. That is, as a person feels itchy, he or she scratches in response, which exacerbates the itch, and so on. The itch-scratch cycle is often seen when conscious control of scratching is low or absent, for instance during sleep.

Most common dry skin areas are

  • the lower legs,
  • hands,
  • forearms.

Constantly scratching and rubbing the skin may cause the skin to become thick and leathery. For others, small, red, raised bumps may appear on their skin, and these bumpy spots can be irritated, opened, and infected if scratched.

Return to Dry Skin

See what others are saying

Comment from: tiredofitching, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

My scalp is itchy, red and constantly peeling. I have tried dandruff shampoos and tar shampoos, but nothing helps.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Eunice, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 02

The palms of my hands and the soles of my feet show no sign of infection. They simply itch, it feels like a deep itch.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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