Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Xeroderma

(Xerosis)

By

James G. H. Dinulos

, MD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Last full review/revision May 2021| Content last modified May 2021
Click here for Patient Education
Topic Resources

Xeroderma is dry skin that is neither inherited nor associated with systemic abnormalities.

Xeroderma results from delayed shedding of the superficial cells of the skin, yielding fine white scale. Risk factors for xerosis include the following:

Severe dry skin on the hands may become inflamed, leading to hand dermatitis (hand eczema).

Diagnosis of xeroderma is based on clinical evaluation. Xeroderma can usually be differentiated by inflammatory disorders such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis by the absence of erythema in xeroderma. Unlike the fine white scales of xeroderma, ichthyosis is characterized by fish-like scales.

Treatment of Xeroderma

  • Maximization of skin moisture

Treatment of xeroderma is focused on keeping the skin moist:

Patients who develop hand dermatitis sometimes require topical corticosteroids to decrease inflammation and maintain the skin barrier.

Click here for Patient Education
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
Professionals also read
Test your knowledge
Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory condition of the hair follicle and associated structures. This condition can be present in the axillae, groin, and around the nipples and anus. In chronic axillary cases of hidradenitis suppurativa, which of the following is most likely to occur?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
 

Also of Interest

 
TOP