Your skin acts as an active and passive barrier, protecting the body against germs while protecting inner organs and vital body systems from environmental conditions, such as heat, frost, moisture and sunlight. According to Claude Burton MD, professor of dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine, “your intact, healthy skin is your body’s primary defense against infection.” If you let your skin get dried out and cracked, you could be giving all sorts of bacteria a way in. If untreated, cracked skin can sometimes lead to dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin, and that can lead to more serious problems.
Dry skin can be seen in people of any age, race, or gender. However, the incidence of dry skin increases with age. Nearly all individuals over the age of 60 have some degree of dry skin which could lead to cracking.