In some people who have a tendency toward eczema, dry skin that's not cared for can lead to:
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema). If you're prone to develop this condition, excessive dryness can lead to activation of the disease, causing redness, cracking and inflammation.
- Infections. Dry skin may crack, allowing bacteria to enter, causing infections.
These complications are most likely to occur when your skin's normal protective mechanisms are severely compromised. For example, severely dry skin can cause deep cracks or fissures, which can open and bleed, providing an avenue for invading bacteria.
Jan. 28, 2014
- Dry skin. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/a---d/dry-skin. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Fazio SB, et al. Pruritus: Overview of management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- The management of chronic pruritis in the elderly. Skin Therapy Letter. com. http://www.skintherapyletter.com/2010/15.8/2.html. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Weston WL, et al. Treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Dermatologists' top 10 tips for relieving dry skin. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/winter_skin.html. Accessed July 1, 2013.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 1, 2013.