Xerosis cutis

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: ED54

Sebostasis, pityriasis simplex corporis, pityriasis simplex capilitii, pityriasis simplex faciei.

Dry skin, which can be triggered by various underlying diseases.

Very common, especially in older age.

  • Advanced age
  • Drying out due to intensive hygiene measures
  • Ichthyoses
  • Atopic eczema
  • Medicines
    • Retinoids
  • Ectodermal dysplasia

Dry skin, with hyperkeratosis and scaling. Dermoscopically, the Whites Scale Sign can be seen. This should also be seen as an indication for re-lubricating measures.



Mostly on the lower legs, but possible all over the body.


Severe xerosis may result in exsiccation eczema.


Very good with adequate re-lubrication.

1             Klemmer A, Anzengruber F, Kazakov D, Navarini AA: White Scale Sign for Xeroderma. JAMA Dermatol 2016

2             Mischo M, von Kobyletzki LB, Brundermann E, Schmidt DA, Potthoff A, Brockmeyer NH, Havenith M: Similar appearance, different mechanisms: xerosis in HIV, atopic dermatitis and ageing. Exp Dermatol 2014;23:446-448.

3             Paul C, Maumus-Robert S, Mazereeuw-Hautier J, Guyen CN, Saudez X, Schmitt AM: Prevalence and risk factors for xerosis in the elderly: a cross-sectional epidemiological study in primary care. Dermatology 2011;223:260-265.

4             Valentine J, Belum VR, Duran J, Ciccolini K, Schindler K, Wu S, Lacouture ME: Incidence and risk of xerosis with targeted anticancer therapies. J Am Acad Dermatol 2015;72:656-667.