Read below about dry, flaking skin, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your dry, flaking skin from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Dry, Flaking Skin

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced dry, flaking skin. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)

    Dermatitis is the inflammation ("-itis") of the skin ("derma" is a layer of the skin). It can be caused by any number of causes, from allergies to infections to autoimmune issues. Dermatitis of Normal Variation (also called, "NOS") means that all of those other causes of your rash have been ruled out. This is very common.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    red rash, itchy rash, painful rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation):
    red rash
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    This is a long-term, recurring condition but symptoms are manageable with care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash
    Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  3. 3.Pityriasis Rosea

    Pityriasis rosea is a common skin condition with no known cause. It is not contagious and does not usually lead to any dangerous complications. It most often appears as a larger "mother" patch which comes first, surrounded by smaller "daughter" patches which appear soon after.

    Pityriasis Rosea will go away on its own within 2-8 weeks

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rash, itchy rash, curved rash, rough patch with red spots around it
    Symptoms that always occur with pityriasis rosea:
    rash
    Symptoms that never occur with pityriasis rosea:
    blue-colored skin changes, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. The patches mostly affect the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet.

    Psoriasis is a chronic condition. Often flare-ups come and go. In some cases, psoriasis goes away over time.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, painful rash, scaly rash
    Symptoms that never occur with psoriasis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp, face or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin. The exact cause of this condition is not known, although doctors think that some common skin yeast organisms, called Malassezia, may play a role in some people.

    Weeks to months with treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, scalp skin changes, cheek skin changes
    Symptoms that never occur with seborrheic dermatitis:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

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  6. 6.Non - Specific Skin Rash

    A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific skin rash:
    rash
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  7. 7.Lichen Sclerosus

    Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause. It's most commonly on the genital region and occurring in women who are post menopausal.

    Can be lifelong; however, symptoms will come-and-go with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, vaginal pain, painful sex, dry skin on the outside of the vagina, painful urination
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    Most cases of hypothyroidism require lifelong hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Solar (Actinic) Keratosis

    Actinic keratosis, also known as solar keratosis, is the most common skin condition caused by sun damage over many years. It appears as small, rough, raised growths that may be hard and warty.

    May go away on its own within a year. Use sunscreen to prevent these if you spend a lot of time outside.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    unchanged face redness, rough skin on the face, thickened skin with a well-defined border
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Sunburn

    A sunburn is inflammation (a reaction by your body's immune system) caused by too much UV (ultra-violet) radiation, which is part of the sunshine. While the symptoms eventually go away, the cells of the skin are permanently damaged, and over time, the risk of skin cancer is higher. Further, the damage reduces the skin's ability to repair itself, speeding up the formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

    It typically resolves within 3-5 days for mild sunburns, and 7-14 days for blistering episodes

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    painful rash, red rash, itchy rash, warm and red rash, swollen rash
    Symptoms that always occur with sunburn:
    painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that never occur with sunburn:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dry, Flaking Skin

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.What color is the skin change?
  • Q.Are there bumps on your rash?
  • Q.Is your rash raised or rough when you run your hand over the area of skin?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our dry, flaking skin symptom checker to find out more.

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Dry, Flaking Skin Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced dry, flaking skin have also experienced:

    • 28% Vaginal Itch or Burning
    • 15% Dry Skin
    • 3% Dry Skin on the Outside of the Vagina
  • People who have experienced dry, flaking skin had symptoms persist for:

    • 29% Over a Month
    • 27% Less Than a Week
    • 25% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced dry, flaking skin were most often matched with:

    • 50% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
    • 25% Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)
    • 25% Pityriasis Rosea
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

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