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When should you see a doctor about dry, itchy skin?

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If your dry, itchy skin doesn't get better within 2 weeks, call your doctor. In some cases, dry skin and itching can be caused by an allergic reaction or a skin disorder such as eczema or psoriasis, which may require specific treatments. Severe itching can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition, including liver disease and cancer. That's not likely, but it's something your doctor would check out.

Don't scratch your itchy skin. Scratching can cause infection. Signs of infection include redness, tenderness, swelling, and pus. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. You may need antibiotics.

From: Itching From Dry Skin WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Skin Problems: Dry, Itchy Skin." 

Eczema and Sensitive Skin Education: "Guide to Bathing & Moisturizing for Eczema and Sensitive Skin."

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Topical Treatments for Psoriasis."

American Cancer Society: "Skin Dryness."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on June 08, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Skin Problems: Dry, Itchy Skin." 

Eczema and Sensitive Skin Education: "Guide to Bathing & Moisturizing for Eczema and Sensitive Skin."

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Topical Treatments for Psoriasis."

American Cancer Society: "Skin Dryness."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on June 08, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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