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Xerosis in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Xerosis in Adult

Contributors: Nasir Aziz MD, Callyn Iwuala MD, Oyetewa Oyerinde MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Xerosis (also called dry skin, asteatosis, or ashy skin) refers to a condition of rough, dry skin texture with associated fine scales. Xerosis is often pruritic. The pathogenesis involves a decrease in the amount of lipids in the stratum corneum and a deficiency in the water-binding capacity of this layer.

Xerosis is associated with a number of environmental factors and/or disease states, such as low humidity, frequent bathing, harsh soaps, ichthyoses, atopic dermatitis, hypothyroidism, Down syndrome, renal failure, malnutrition and malabsorptive states, human immunodeficiency virus disease, lymphoma, liver disease, Sjögren syndrome, carcinomatosis, and certain drugs.

The incidence of xerosis increases with age; nearly all individuals over the age of 60 have some degree of xerosis.


L85.3 – Xerosis cutis

89105000 – Xerosis cutis

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Last Reviewed:02/01/2021
Last Updated:01/31/2021
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Xerosis in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Xerosis : Dry skin, Trunk, Pruritus, Fine scaly plaques, Legs, Dorsal hands
Clinical image of Xerosis - imageId=4685954. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A close-up of diffuse scaling.'
A close-up of diffuse scaling.
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