• Clarice Gabardo RitterEmail author


Xerosis, or dry skin, is a highly prevalent condition among the general population. It can be caused by the combination of many factors, such as environmental triggers, genetic background, age, and concomitant diseases. Clinically, xerosis causes rough, scaly, and often itchy skin. Pruritus is a very common symptom, which can lead to excoriations and risk of skin infections. Xerosis is characterized pathophysiologically by a disrupted stratum corneum, dehydration, and impaired keratinocyte differentiation. The main treatment of xerosis is the use of emollients, which should help to provide substances to facilitate hydration and epidermal differentiation. As a multifactorial disorder, the control of trigger factors is also important.


Xerosis Dry skin Stratum corneum Xerotic eczema Aged skin Atopic dermatitis Emollients Humectants Ceramides Natural moisturizing factor 



Atopic dermatitis


Natural moisturizing factor


Stratum corneum


Transepidermal water loss




The basic unit of the sphingolipids, consisting of sphingosine (unsaturated amino alcohol) or a related base attached via its amino group to a long-chain fatty acid anion. A lipid molecule that plays a fundamental role in skin water.


Complex mixtures of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of the skin (epidermis) softer and more pliable. They increase the skin’s hydration (water content) by reducing evaporation. Emollients work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin.


Substances that absorb water from the atmosphere and also from the lower layers of the skin, making more moisturized the upper skin that is palpable.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dermatology of Hospital Nossa Senhora da ConceiçãoPorto AlegreBrazil

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