Xerosis Cutis | Xerotic eczema – How to Treat at home- Ayurveda-Naturopathy

 Xerosis cutis is a kind of Eczema it occurs in the old age. It’s also named xerotic eczema because skin get dry (xerotic) it is a common type of dermatitis and it is not permanent it is a temporary disorder.

What is Xerosis Cutis?

Xerosis cutis or xerotic eczema is a condition when skin becomes extremely dry and it is very common in the cold months especially when the wind becomes very harsh to skin. usually a temporary disorder and very common in older age persons as their skin becomes very dry and it is very difficult for their skin to hold water and keep moistened. 

According to the research published in April 2021 on WebMD, you can prevent Xerosis cutis by avoiding long time shower and using Luke warm water in bath and applying moisture to the skin during winters.

What causes Xerosis cutis?

Your skin becomes dry in the lack of hydration and oil content decreases from the skin as you get old. You can compare the skin condition of a baby and yours, then you can easily understand how it affects, as your age increases.

There are several factors weather it is environmental or your certain activities which can trigger Xerosis cutis. These factors are described below:

  1. Taking excessive bath or shower.
  2. Use hot water for bathing and washing hands.
  3. Using excess of soap, hand wash or detergents. 
  4. Excessive cleaning and excessive rubbing the skin.
  5. Staying in the environment of low humidity like desert or winters.
  6. Using hot blowers which decreases the humidity of your room.
  7. Over exposure to the sun.
  8. Drinking less amount of water or dehydrated. 

Who is at the high risk of getting Xerosis cutis?

Anyone who is having very dry skin can affected by Xerosis cutis. 

  1. It is very common in older age persons. 
  2. If your thyroid is underactive.
  3. Severe weight loss.
  4. Dehydration. 
  5. Lack of nutrition in diet, mainly zinc and fatty acids.
  6. Some of the drugs can also adversely trigger Xerosis cutis. Consult your physician about your skin condition if you’re under any medication. 

What are the symptoms of Xerosis cutis?

Xerosis cutis or xerotic eczema is very distinctive and can easily be identified.
  1. There are diamond shaped plates, separated by red band to each other appear on the skin. 
  2. It can also appear like a scratch mark on your skin, initially a tiny mark and soon spreads on the wider area.
  3. It usually seems on arms and legs.
  4. Skin becomes red or pink at the affected area.
  5. You feel dryness and severe itching. 
  6. Skin becomes tight and less elastic.
  7. Sometimes fine cracks can be appear on the skin.
  8. Localized swelling can also be appear sometimes. 

How Xerosis cutis be diagnosed?

In most of the cases Xerosis cutis or xerotic eczema can diagnosed by it’s appearance and no need to further testings to be done. 

Thyroid test can be advised if you are facing some other issues too such as hair thinning, fatigue, weight gain, to check weather you are affcted by hypothyroidism and medication to be prescribed accordingly. Other aspects like severe weight loss, excessive fever or any other ailment is also considered in the diagnosis of Xerosis cutis. 

How Xerosis cutis can be treated 

at home

To cure Xerosis cutis at home it is very important to use a mild soap to bath. Do not use hot water to bath. Keep on moisturizing the skin with a lotion contain oil content in a very good quantity because it would be more effective to keep your skin moistened for a long time.

Some of the tips you can follow to treat Xerosis cutis at home:

1. Use Natural oils for dryness

Using coconut oil and sunflower seed oil as a moisturizer is a good decision as it can hydrates the skin for long and nourishes too. You can also use honey to moisturise your skin as these are clinically proven natural moisturizers. Aloe Vera has not found effective to treat Xerosis cutis in the clinical studies conducted. 

2. Avoid using too much of chemicals

Whenever you go to buy any beauty products or perfume, check that it should not contain sulphate, alcohol, triclosan or added artificial fragrances.  As they can trigger Xerosis cutis. 

3. Avoid direct sun or excessive heat exposure 

Always apply sunscreen or cover your skin properly, whenever going out to the sun light or exposed to the heat.

4. Avoid frequent bathing

You should avoid taking so frequently because it may lead your skin dry as oil content present in your skin washes out whenever you take bath and your skin becomes dry.

5. Avoid hot water bath 

Always use Luke warm water rather than hot water to bath as it also washes out maximum quantity of oil present in your skin and lead it dry and xerotic.

6. Apply plenty amount of moisturizer 

Make a habit to apply frequently plenty amount of moisturizer to your skin, especially just after the bath. So that maximum quantity of water remain within the skin and keep skin hydrated for a long time.

7. Avoid using hot blowers

Blowers ruin the humidity of your room and skin starts dehydrated. So you should avoid or less using hot blowers.

8. Use mild soap

Harsh soaps lead your skin extra dry. So always go for mild soap or if, multaani mitti (clay), you found nearby use it instead of soap. It is easily available at online store too.

9. Gentle cleaning 

You should avoid alcohol based cleanser, or containing fragrance, glycerin and propylene. Use as natural as you can.

10. Eat healthy and balanced diet

Balanced diet is very necessary to every aspect. Include omega 3 fatty acids, vitam A, K, D, C and E in your diet additionally. As these will help you keep hydrated from inner side of your body.

11. Keep hydrated

Drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated, it will prevent triggering dryness. One should drink 3-4 liter water per day. Eat, such seasonal fruits and vegetables in which water is content is present naturally, like watermelon, bottleguard, cucumber etc.

12. Protect yourself from winter 

It is very common to get your skin dry during winter. You should cover your skin with scarf while going out. Keep applying moisturizer frequently to prevent it to become dry and trigger Xerosis cutis. 

13. Keep yourself stress free

Stress does not cause any disease directly but it triggers so many diseases indirectly because cortisol hormon released when you are in stress and it leaves inflammation in the body and so many disorders occur in the body like diabetes and other endocrine disorders and skin disorders too. Similarly it triggers Xerosis cutis too. So it is very important to keep yourself stress free.
There is a table describing what to do at home to prevent or to cure it at home, published on uspharmacist.com

Drinking good amount of water is very necessary to cure it internally Xerosis internally.

Avoid excessive exposure to the sun or to heat.
It is advised to apply moisturizer just after the bath so that maximum amount of water can be hold within the skin.

Applying frequently a good amount of moisturizer  is also recommended.  For a brief explanation on which type of moisturizers to be use you can go through the table below published on uspharmacist.com

There is a common and very effective herb aloe Vera, which usually beneficiary to treat various diseases.  But applying of aloe Vera in the Xerosis cutis is not advised as it is not proven effective to treat it in the clinical studies. Rather application of coconut oil is proven effective and safe in the cure of Xerosis cutis or xerotic eczema at home to soothe the skin.

When to consult a dermatologist?

Skin becomes very sensitive when you are facing Xerosis cutis. You can use all recommended home remedies and self help guidelines to improve your skin health for 3-4 weeks. 

If it is not decreasing rather spreading and spreading in the wider area or it is in a ring shape, you should go for a dermatologist to consult. You might be infected through any bacteria or any kind of fungal or algae infection is spreading. A dermatologist can better explain after examined weather it is a kind of eczema or something else. The treatment guidelines will change accordingly. 

How Xerosis cutis be prevented?

You can not control the condition of your skin as your age increases your skin moves towards declines. And water or oil retaintion capacity also ruins, thus it becomes more dry and needs more care to keep it moistened. You can follow the following changes in your daily routine to prevent ,xerosis cutis or xerotic eczema:

  1. Do not take shower so frequently or for a long time.
  2. Use Luke warm water instead of hot water to bath.
  3. Apply moisturizer immediate after bath so that maximum quantity of water can be hold within the skin.
  4. Do not rub harshly to clean your skin.
  5. Use mild soap.
  6. Pat the towel to let your skin dry instead of rubbing aggressively. 
  7. Avoid using hot blower as it dehydrates the skin.
  8. Avoid using deodorants and perfumes.
  9. Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine or tobacco they can trigger Xerosis cutis. 
  10. Use sunscreen or protect your skin before going to the sun exposure.
  11. Avoid stress also as it can not be the direct factor, but it can trigger.
  12. Don’t scratch while itching rather apply moisturizer to settle your itching.
  13. Last but not the least, drink plenty of water so that you can remain hydrated from inner of your body.

Frequently asked questions

Q.1 Is xerosis curable?

Answer. Yes, Xerosis cutis can cured, if take extra care routine of your skin to stay it hydrated and apply moisturizer frequently. Keeping your skin healthy both internally and externally can protect you from Xerosis. 

Q2. Is xerosis genetic?

Answer. As per the research evidences published on PubMed, epidermal filaggrin deficiency due to filaggrin gene mutation can cause Xerosis and it also leads to asthma risk.

Q.3 Does xerotic eczema | xerosis cutis spread by scratching?

Answer. Yes, Xerosis cutis can be spread or worse by scratching. You should apply moisturizer in a good quantity whenever you feel itchy rather than scratching. Though it can not spread person to person.

Q.4 Why have I suddenly got xerotic eczema?

Answer. May be you have travelled a lot and different climate can cause it, or you have got some allergies or excessive heat exposure and you got xerotic eczema suddenly. 

Data sources:

Information provided here has been taken from books references and present on various platforms on internet and medical journals.



I am a nutritionist, keep on researching on Ayurveda and naturopathy since years. Shares, effective Remedies and treatments in ayurveda. You will find all remedies & authentic research based Product Reviews for any disease or illness and for beauty. I'm dedicated to giving you the best of knowledge in natural way.

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