Dry Skin

Dry face. Dry hands. Dry skin on your arms and legs, and across your body even after using moisturizing creams. Does this sound familiar? If it does, your skin might lack an essential protein called filaggrin.

Symptoms of filaggrin deficiency include dry spots and cracks in the skin as well as dry and scaly skin across your body, often noticed on the arms and legs. These symptoms describe the condition ichthyosis vulgaris, also known as fish scale skin.

Filaggrin deficiency causes a damaged and sensitive skin barrier

If you lack filaggrin in your skin, frequent applications of traditional moisturizing creams may not be effective in soothing your dry skin. When the skin has low levels of filaggrin, it contains less water-binding and hydrating amino acids that are essential for the structure of the skin barrier. Therefore, it becomes dry and cracked.

What is filaggrin?

Filaggrin is a protein that occurs naturally in the skin. It’s vital for the skin’s ability to remain hydrated because it breaks down into water-binding amino acids or “natural moisturizing factors” (NMFs) that help keep the skin properly hydrated. Without NMFs, the skin barrier dries out and cracks. This can lead to itching and leave the skin more prone to infection because it becomes easier for bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, to enter the skin.

All babies are born without filaggrin in their skin. Shortly after birth, since the child is no longer surrounded by water, the body starts to produce filaggrin. This is vital to the skin’s ability to bind water. 

Causes of filaggrin deficiency

There are two main causes of lowered filaggrin levels:

  1. Genetic filaggrin deficiency—a chronic condition affecting up to 9% of the population
  2. Skin inflammation (e.g., from atopic dermatitis or psoriasis), which can cause a decrease in the natural production of filaggrin and the enzyme that breaks down filaggrin into water-binding amino acids

Both causes can result in very dry and sensitive skin that requires tailored skincare.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) and filaggrin deficiency

Studies show that up to 50% of people affected by atopic dermatitis have filaggrin deficiency. Environmental factors also play a role in the development of atopic dermatitis—but having filaggrin deficiency increases the risk.

If a child first develops atopic dermatitis, it becomes more difficult to “grow out” of the condition with filaggrin-deficient skin vs. with normal filaggrin levels. Filaggrin deficiency also increases the risk of developing severe eczema.


biomee™ | Sjögren’s can cause dry skin

Sjögren’s can cause dry skin

Sjögren’s Disease is distinguished by a chronic inflammation that involves the body’s exocrine glands (i.e., glands that produce fluids). The most common symptoms of Sjögren’s are dry eyes and dry mouth. However, most people with the condition also experience dry skin or even ichthyosis vulgaris (fish scale skin). This is caused by the chronic skin inflammation associated with Sjögren’s due to overactivity of the immune system, which results in decreased filaggrin production.

Tailored relief for dry skin

biomee™ Dry Skin is uniquely tailored to nourish and moisturize filaggrin-deficient dry skin. The cream hydrates the skin by replenishing the amino acids it lacks due to lowered filaggrin levels.