Dry skin, or xerosis, is typically not a serious problem, although it can develop into quite the aesthetic nuisance. Fine lines and wrinkles are in many cases associated with dry skin, creating even more of a cosmetic concern for many individuals. In most cases, dry skin can be attributed to environmental factors that the individual may adjust or change so that the problem goes away, although an inherited and serious form of dry skin called ichthyosis can be very troubling psychologically for many individuals. Those with severe dry skin should speak with their dermatologist about their options, but for most people with dry skin, a few simple steps may go a long way in relieving the condition.
For instance, the use of moisturizers and avoiding the use of harsh and drying soaps may be helpful. Avoiding long and hot showers or baths, or bathing less, may be helpful as well. Creams with lactic acid and urea may be recommended by a dermatologist to relieve dry skin as well. For dry skin issues that lead to dermatitis, individuals may choose a lotion that contains hydrocortisone. Cracked skin may be treated using wet dressings. For those with ichthyosis, the group of disorders leading to serious dry skin conditions, prescription creams or ointments may be needed.