In many cases, dry skin is caused by external factors such as the weather, low air humidity and immersion in hot water, and it is usually temporary. However, for some people it may occur more often and even be a lifelong condition. Since dry skin can crack leaving it more exposed to bacteria, although in general this is not serious, it may cause other skin disorders, such as eczema, or be more prone to infections if not properly managed.
Dry skin signs and symptoms may vary depending on different factors such as age, health status or their cause. It's generally characterized by a feeling of tightness and roughness. It may also acquire an ashy gray color, with occurrence of desquamation, itching, redness and small cracks.
Cracked skin is usually observed in very dry skin and presents small cracks, which, in more serious cases, may be deeper and even bleed. Atopic skin is a skin disease characterized by dry skin that leads to desquamation and irritation and causes upsetting symptoms, such as itching. The main cause is genetic predisposition, although other factors may trigger its occurrence or aggravate the condition as well, which may be environmental, allergic, related with food and even with some clothes.