Dry skin pierre fabre dermatology

Dry skinWhile healthy skin regulates its own moisture balance, this process is disturbed in permanently dry skin, so-called xerosis: it is not sufficiently supplied with water and skin fat. The skin is dry and rough and when rubbed, fine flakes of skin come off. It becomes cracked and reddened, begins to be tense and itchy. And it becomes more susceptible to external stimuli, so that secondary diseases such as eczema can develop.

With the early and regular use of suitable care products, the skin can usually regenerate quickly and permanently.

In more severe and stubborn cases, a visit to the dermatologist is recommended. He can determine with certainty whether the xerosis is possibly associated with another disease. Xerosis can cause numerous. Have multiple causes. It can be triggered by environmental factors or be the concomitant of another disease. However, it is always based on a disturbance of the natural water-fat supply (hydrolipid system), which protects healthy skin from drying out.

When the water-fat balance gets out of whack

The outermost layer of the epidermis, the so-called horny layer, consists of lipids (fat) that are stored between dead horny cells (corneocytes) and hold them together – like mortar the bricks of a wall. These lipids are crucial for moisture retention. Thus also for the binding of water in the skin. They are formed in the sebaceous glands. In xerosis, two mechanisms act together: Due to the undersupply of lipids, the water content in the horny layer decreases and at the same time the number of dead horny cells increases. The horny layer loses its suppleness, the skin becomes brittle, reddens and begins to itch. It becomes more permeable for "attacks" from outside, allergens, pollutants, germs etc. In short: the "wall" becomes fragile, it no longer protects

Xerosis can have many causes

Experts distinguish between "congenital" and "acquired" xerosis. The spectrum of congenital xerosis ranges from non-pathological, genetically caused brittle skin – such as many red-haired people have – to severe diseases. In congenital xerosis, the self-regulating process of the skin is disturbed from the inside. The classic disease example is atopic dermatitis. Xerosis is also a typical symptom of the rare hereditary disease ichthyosis (fish scale disease) and of underlying diseases such as diabetes mellitus, biliary, hepatic or renal diseases. A "natural" xerosis in turn causes the aging process of the skin. With age, the skin becomes thinner. The sebaceous glands produce less fat.

The "acquired" xerosis is caused by external factors. For example by:

– climatic influences such as cold, sun, wind, – prolonged stay in dry heating air, – occupational skin stress (hairdresser, bakery, restaurants, construction industry), – extreme sunbathing, – frequent bathing or showering or the – too generous use of unsuitable care products that dry out the skin.

If healthy skin is exposed to strong stimuli over a longer period of time, it can no longer regulate the loss of moisture itself. Its barrier function is disturbed and it becomes more permeable to pollutants, allergens and pathogens. As a consequence, diseases such as psoriasis, desiccation eczema or allergic contact eczema may appear.


The aim of a xerosis treatment is to normalize the skin condition again – by giving the skin from the outside what it lacks: On the one hand with hydrating (moisturizing) refatting substances that protect against dehydration such as vaseline, kerosene or lanolin, which increase the water content in the skin. On the other hand, hygroscopic (moisture-binding) substances such as glycerol or sorbitol, which bind the water in the horny layer. If the xerosis is mild and non-pathological, a well-stocked pharmacy offers a high-quality range of skin care products. In case of doubt, it is best to consult a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).

If eczema has already developed, a visit to the dermatologist is inevitable. Only a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis. Developing the right therapy concept. Of course, this also applies if the xerosis is related to a more complex skin or underlying disease such as neurodermatitis or diabetes mellitus. Regularly clean your skin from dirt. Remove sweat residues with mild cleansing products especially for dry skin. In the cold, dry winter air, skin care with more lipid-rich or even water-free preparations is recommended. In summer, moisturizing skin care products are more suitable.

Better no hot shower!

Do not bathe or shower too hot. The temperature of bath water should not exceed 35° Celsius. Instead of bubble baths, use mild, soap-free products, such as moisturizing oil baths.

Avoid sun and UV radiation

Avoid excessive sunbathing. Too much UV radiation can not only cause skin cancer, it also dries out the skin.

Gloves for skin protection

Anyone who regularly has to deal with irritating substances, for example cleaning agents, chemicals, lubricants, mortar, etc., should protect the skin with gloves.

Drink enough!

Drink a lot! Make sure you stay adequately hydrated. 2-3 liters of water throughout the day are optimal.

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Dry skin: xerosis / xeroderma

Dry skin pierre fabre dermatology

The skin is a vital organ, that's why its health is so precious to us.

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