ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
In some people who have a tendency toward eczema, dry skin that's not cared for can lead to:
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema). If you're prone to develop this condition, excessive dryness can lead to activation of the disease, causing redness, cracking and inflammation.
- Folliculitis. This is an inflammation of your hair follicles.
- Cellulitis. This is a potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin's underlying tissues; these bacteria may enter the lymphatic system and blood vessels.
These complications are most likely to occur when your skin's normal protective mechanisms are severely compromised. For example, severely dry skin can cause deep cracks or fissures, which can open up and bleed, providing an avenue for invading bacteria.
- Dry skin and keratosis pilaris. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/skin_dry.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2010.
- Fazio SB, et al. Pruritus. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2010.
- Baumann L. Cosmetics and skin care in dermatology. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3007166&searchStr=xerosis. Accessed Oct. 5, 2010.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 14, 2010.