What is dry skin?

Learn more about dry skin, its key symptoms, possible causes and basic facts. Which ingredients to look for in skin treating products?

Xerosis is the most common dermatological disorder impacting up to around 50% of the world’s population1,2. Popularly known as dry skin, is a treatable skin condition characterized by a lack of moisture in the outermost layer of the epidermis3. While dry skin can be quite vexing, with the right skincare products and proper knowledge, its symptoms can be alleviated and eventually - completely averted.

Dry skin means insufficient moisture in the epidermis - the outermost layer of the skin. But the root cause of dry skin is the disturbed epidermal differentiation that leads to the occurrence of five common characteristics of dry skin4:

Woman applying Bepanthen Derma lotion on skin
  • Increased scaling and itching
  • Increased water loss through the skin's surface
  • Loss of naturally occuring humectants
  • Mild subclinical inflammation
  • Impaired skin's barrier function5

Importantly, without proper treatment and an attempt to eliminate the root cause of dry skin, the problem will keep coming back and may intensify - that's why we say that dry skin is not a condition, but a cycle - one that needs to be broken.

Factors associated with dry skin

Dry skin can be both a symptom and a condition in itself. While studies show that age is a factor that increases the probability of it occurring6, it is not the only one. Other factors which may lead to dry skin include:

Diabetes icon

high blood sugar (glucose) may contribute to developing dry, itchy skin.

Skin disease icon

Skin diseases
conditions such as atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis are associated with dry skin.

Genetical factors icon

Genetical factors
mutations in one or both copies of the filaggrin gene (a gene that plays an important role in the skin’s barrier function) are known to increase the risk of developing dry skin.

Stress icon

stress can be considered a trigger for a range of skin conditions, including psoriasis. It increases inflammatory markers.

Detergents icon

harsh soaps and detergents, as well as shampoos, may strip moisture from your skin.

Low humidity icon

Low humidity
caused by, for example, central heating, space heaters, fireplaces and all heat sources which reduce humidity.

Cold temperatures icon

Cold temperatures
cold temperatures lead to lower levels of humidity, which impacts the development of dry skin.

Rough and flaky skin icon

Rough and flaky skin

Itching icon


Tight skin icon

Tight skin

How to manage dry skin?

Many treatments try to occlude the skin to reduce water loss. But this outside-in approach does not address the root cause of dry skin. This is why an inside-out approach that restores normal cell renewal process is now regarded as the best way to treat dry skin4.

Bepanthen® Derma with its unique combination of ingredients known as Repair Complex acts from the inside-out to address all aspects of dry skin:

Woman applying Bepanthen Derma body lotion on her skin
  • Dexpanthenol, which works deep within the skin to repair the disrupted cell renewal process
  • Vitamin B3 to soothe itchy dry skin
  • Natural lipids including Shea Butter and Argan Oil to replace lost skin lipids
  • Glycerine to provide immediate and long-lasting moisturization

With a formula that tackles dry skin on every level, Bepanthen Derma offers immediate relief and lasting moisturization. In our offer, you can find products formulated specifically for moisturization and cleansing for face and body – all of them free from preservatives, fragrance, colorants and soap. With their use, you will be able to gain a healthier skin inside-out and enjoy life again without irritating restrictions!


1 Farage MA. The prevalence of sensitive skin. Front Med. 2019;6:98.

2 Roussaki-Schulze AV, Zafiriou E, Nikoulis D, Klimi E, Rallis E, Zintzaras E. Objective biophysical findings in patients with sensitive skin. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2005;31 (Suppl.):17–24.

3 Proksch, E. et al, (2019). Dry skin management: practical approach in light of latest research on skin structure and function. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. DOI: 0.1080/09546634.2019.1607024

4 Proksch E, Lachapelle J-M. The management of dry skin with topical emollients—recent perspectives. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2005;3(10):768-774. doi:10.1111/j.1610-0387.2005.05068.x.

5 Chen Y, Lyga J. Brain-skin connection: Stress, inflammation and skin aging. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2014;13(3):177-190. doi:10.2174/1871528113666140522104422.

6 Blume Peytavi. Gerontologist, 2016, Vol. 56, No. S2, S230–S242doi:10.1093/geront/gnw003

7 Seite J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2011 May; Importance of treatment of skin xerosis in diabetes. 25(5):607-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03807.x.

8 Proksch_J Dtsch Dermatol Ges_2005. The management of dry skinwith topical emollients - recent perspectives. JDDG; 2005 ́ 3:768±774

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