Does Paxil cause dry skin? (+3 helpful tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether or not Paxil causes dry skin, research findings on the link between Paxil and dry skin, other possible causes of dry skin, alternatives to Paxil if it causes dry skin, and hydration tips and recommendations for managing dry skin while taking Paxil.

Does Paxil cause dry skin?

Yes, Paxil can cause dry skin. Paxil is an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) antidepressant. SSRIs can cause dry skin and dry mouth as side effects. Dry skin is a rare side effect of Paxil. (1)

The mechanism of action of Paxil in causing dry skin is not fully understood. However, it is assumed to be related to the increased serotonin levels in the brain.

If you experience dry skin while taking Paxil, consult your healthcare provider. They might reduce your dose or switch you to a medication with fewer adverse effects.

How does Paxil cause dry skin?

The exact mechanism of Paxil in causing dry skin is not fully understood. However, Paxil may reduce perspiration (sweating) in a small percentage of individuals, which may worsen eczema symptoms and result in dry skin. This is due to the fact that sweating keeps the skin hydrated.

According to a certain study, Paxil may change how the immune functions. SSRIs have an immunomodulatory effect, which can aggravate eczema and other skin diseases in certain individuals. (2)

It is crucial to remember that not everyone using Paxil will experience dry skin, and this side effect will fade away as the body adjusts to the drug. Consult your healthcare provider or dermatologist if you have concerns about eczema or dry skin while taking Paxil.

What does research suggest?

According to research, a study on an 80-year-old woman who developed skin peeling and blistering was reported. Six days before she was sent, she began taking 10 mg of paroxetine (Paxil) once per day. 

The usage of paroxetine caused toxic epidermal necrolysis, a potentially fatal skin condition marked by skin peeling and blistering. (3)

According to a different study, using SSRIs, such as paroxetine at a dose of 30mg per day can result in serious skin conditions such as erythema, Lyell’s syndrome, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. (4)

These studies concluded that Paroxetine can result in different skin complications. However, every individual differs in their response to medications. Research investigations have not yielded a conclusive figure regarding the percentage of patients who develop dry skin as a side effect of using Paxil.

What factors could contribute to dry skin while taking Paxil?

Several factors can contribute to dry skin while taking Paxil such as:

Age and environment: People naturally experience dry skin as they age, and Paxil may make this worse. Paxil may exacerbate dry skin symptoms in dry and cold weather environments.

Underlying Medical conditions and concomitant medications: Certain skin conditions such as eczema can exacerbate dry skin while taking Paxil. Medications such as chemotherapy, or undergoing dialysis can contribute to dry skin while taking Paxil.

Detergents: The excessive use of soaps and detergents can exacerbate dry skin while taking Paxil.

Heat: Excessive heat such as exposure to stoves can reduce humidity and cause dry skin. (5)

What are Paxil alternatives if it causes dry skin?

If Paxil causes dry skin, your healthcare provider may prescribe you alternative antidepressants that are less likely to cause dry skin such as: (5), (6), (7)

  • SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) such as venlafaxine. Venlafaxine can you feel more enthusiastic and can cause less dry skin than Paxil in certain individuals.
  • NDRI (Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake inhibitors) such as bupropion (Wellbutrin).
  • Tetracyclic antidepressants such as mirtazapine.

Your healthcare provider or psychiatrist will properly assess your situation and prescribe the most appropriate antidepressant for your case with fewer adverse effects.

What are some tips and recommendations for dealing with dry skin?

There are several tips and recommendations that can be used to deal with dry skin, some of which include: (8)

  • Apply moisturizer to your dry skin several times per day.
  • Drink plenty of water, you should drink 2-3 liters of water divided per day to increase skin hydration.
  • Avoid the direct contact of detergents on your skin, and use moisturizing soaps instead of harsh soaps on your dry skin.
  • Use a humidifier in your house. Humidifier softens the air that surrounds you, and moisture can help reduce your dry skin symptoms.
  • Wear cotton clothes and avoid fabric and wool clothes as they can irritate your skin.

What are some dietary recommendations for dealing with dry skin?

There are some dietary recommendations that can help alleviate dry skin such as: (9)

  • Consume omega-3 fatty acid-rich food like walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed. Omega-3 may support the moisture of your skin.
  • Eat more food high in vitamin A, such as kale, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Vitamin A can help reduce dryness and is essential for healthy skin.
  • Increase the amount of hydrating fluids such as water and green tea and food such as celery, cucumbers, blackberries, blueberries, plums and watermelon. These vegetables and fruits can aid in keeping your skin hydrated because they contain a lot of water.
  • Steer clear of refined carbs and high-sugar diets because they can cause dehydration and inflammation, both of which can exacerbate dry skin.
  • Consuming healthy oils such as olive, soybean, and sunflower oils plays an important role in hydrating your skin.


Based on my knowledge and research, Paxil can cause dry skin in some individuals. However, it is a rare side effect and can be managed by following tips and self-care techniques. If dry skin is bothering you while taking Paxil, consult your healthcare provider to reduce your dose or switch your medication to an alternative with fewer adverse effects.


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Paroxetine (Oral Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Available from:


Kiecka A, Szczepanik M. The potential action of SSRIs in the treatment of skin diseases including atopic dermatitis and slow-healing wounds. Pharmacological Reports. 2022 Oct;74(5):947–55. Available from:


Ahmed R, Eagleton C. Toxic epidermal necrolysis after paroxetine treatment. The New Zealand Medical Journal [Internet]. 2008 May 23 [cited 2023 Nov 16];121(1274):86–9. Available from:


Herstowska M, Komorowska O, Cubała WJ, Jakuszkowiak-Wojten K, Gałuszko-Węgielnik M, Landowski J. Severe skin complications in patients treated with antidepressants: a literature review. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology. 2014;2:92–7. Available from:


NHS. Side Effects – Antidepressants [Internet]. nhs; 2021. Available from: 


Side effects of mirtazapine [Internet]. 2022. Available from: 


Mayo Clinic. Dry skin – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. 2019. Available from: 


Bouchez C. The ABCs of a Healthy Skin Diet [Internet]. WebMD. Available from:

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