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Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2003 Mar-Apr;69(2):69-75.

Dry skin conditions, eczema and emollients in their management.

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Dept. of Skin & STD, JJM Medical College, Davangere-577 004, Karnataka.


Dry skin, which refers to roughened, flaky, or scaly skin that is less flexible than normal and dry to feel, is relatively common problem in all age groups, but is more common in elderly individuals. The water content of the stratum corneum is of paramount importance in maintaining the normal appearance and texture of human skin. The relative hydration of the stratum corneum is a composite of 3 factors viz. the rate of water transport from dermis to stratum corneum, the rate of surface loss of water and the rate of water binding ability of stratum corneum. Loss of integrity of the barrier function is a central factor in the development of dry skin conditions and eczema. The various factors involved in producing dry skin, various causes of dry skin and the role of emollients in the management of these conditions are discussed.

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