Officially known as xerosis, dry skin plagues people at all stages of life. The condition ranges from mild to severe, and may be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to chemicals, frequent submersion in water, living in a particular hot or dry climate, or even as the result of an underlying skin disease. Though anyone can develop dry skin, individuals over age 40 are most prone to the condition, as the skin becomes thinner and loses moisture with age.
For many, applying a daily moisturizer helps improve the condition. However, if the condition persists, it is important to visit a dermatologist to determine whether dermatitis is causing the condition. A dermatologist may also prescribe a medicated cream or moisturizer to help the skin preserve moisture.