Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterised by a lack of the appropriate amount of water in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. Areas such as the arms, hands, and particularly lower legs tend to be more affected by dry skin. Dryness of the skin is affected by the amount of water vapour in the surrounding air, the humidity.
Dry skin may be a mild, temporary condition lasting a few days to weeks. Dry skin may also become a more severe, long-term skin problem for some. Symptoms of dry skin include discomfort from skin tightness and itching. In addition, external factors such as weather can affect the severity of skin dryness. For example, cold or dry air and winter weather can worsen dry skin. Dry skin may also be a side effect of some medications or a symptom of an underlying medical disorder.