What Are the Dangers of Dry Skin?

Doctor Answers 2

Itching, inflammation, infection.

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Dry skin is not usually serious. The loss of water increases inflammation. The itch can cause you to scratch and that can cause an infection. Avoid hot showers and use emollient washes and lotions.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

What are the problems with dry skin?

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Dry skin develops microscopic cracks which can cause more water loss from the skin.

These cracks also allow irritants and bacteria to get into the skin.

Also, dry skin is itchy.  Scratching escalates the amount of itch there is and can also deposit bacteria that is under our nails into scratched skin increasing the chances of infection.


Dry skin looks wrinkly and doesn't have as much elasticity, so it looks older than normal.

All these are great reasons to prevent and/or treat dry skin:

1. moisturize with a fragrance and dye free moisturizing cream

2. use a mild soap, like Dove for Sensitive Skin or Cetaphil bar

3. do not use a washcloth, spongie, or any sort of washing utensil

4. make sure the keep the shower water warm, not hot

5. use a humidifier in your house.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.