Dry skin: Abnormally dry skin. Can be caused by a dry climate, winter weather, severe deficiency of vitamin A, systemic illness, overexposure to sunlight, or medication. The skin loses moisture. It may crack and peel. Or it may become irritated, inflamed, and itch. Bathing frequently, especially with soaps, can contribute to dry skin.
With dry skin, it can help to keep baths or showers short in warm water with as little soap as possible, drying the skin gently -- pat without rubbing. Dry skin can also usually be addressed by the use of over-the-counter (OTC) topical preparations for dry skin. If these products do not relieve the condition, see a dermatologist for more specific remedies.
Medically, dry skin is called xeroderma. From the Greek "xeros" meaning "dry" + the Greek "derma" meaning "skin" = dry skin.
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