What is this article about?
Xerosis (also known as asteatosis) is the medical term used to describe abnormally dry skin, which is caused by dehydration of the stratum corneum (the horny cell layer of the epidermis). A lack of moisture in the stratum corneum causes the skin surface to lose its flexibility, resulting in splits and cracks. Flaking, scaling, redness or itchiness may also occur. Skin surfaces affected by xerosis may appear dull, rough or scaly While xerosis can appear anywhere on the body, the most commonly affected areas are the lower legs, arms, scalp and hands. While the condition is equally common in males and females and affects people of all ages, it is most prevalent in older adults, affecting almost every person over the age of 60.