What is a dry skin? What causes it? What does it look like? This is a common problem for many people. It can occur at any age and for many reasons. Using a moisturizer often helps repair it.
This article provides vital information on the various causes of dry skin on various body parts and even some of their signs and symbols
How it looks like
Table of content
Signs and symptoms will depend on your age, your health, where you live, time spent outdoors and the cause of the problem. They include:
- A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimming
- It feels and looks rough
- Itching (pruritus)
- Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
- Fine lines or cracks
- Gray, ashy looking
- Deep cracks that may bleed
Read more from SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Note: When it cracks, germs can get in through the skin. Once inside, germs can cause an infection. Red, sore spots but that are pus-filled may be an early sign of an infection.
To begin with, you need to know the reasons why you have this condition in the first place. These are general reasons and they include:
Skin tends to be driest in winter when temperatures and humidity levels plummet. However, the season may not matter as much if you live in desert regions since most people who live in desert mainly experience skin dryness though we have some because of remaining hydrated don’t experience it.
Hot baths and steamy showers
Taking long in hot showers or baths can be another cause. The longer you linger in the shower, the more you make it dry. Therefore, it is recommended to dial down the shower temperature to lukewarm, and keep showers short for about five minutes is enough to get clean without over-drying.
Harsh soaps and detergents
Most of this soaps and detergent are chemically made which may strip off moisture from your skin as they are formulated to remove oil. Also, any wash with a harsh soap and you’ll send its natural moisture barrier straight down the drain.
Therefore, we recommend using a mild, fragrance-free soap that moisturizes as it cleanses.
Being too close to strong heat
Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and being close to such can cause this problem.
Researchers now say that this issue can be inherited since mutations in genes that control the production of the protein filaggrin, which plays a role in forming and hydrating the skin barrier can be passed down the generation. This mutation can also cause several related conditions. People with these mutations suffer drier skin and have a greater chance of developing eczema.
Taking shower using hard water
Hard water contains minerals such as magnesium, lead, and zinc which can leave a film on the skin that causes dryness. These heavy metals turn the oils on its surface into a thick substance that plugs glands, aggravates conditions like acne and rosacea, and prevents moisturizers from being absorbed into the skin.
Acne medications and retinol
These exfoliants can also dry it out despite being used to treat acne. Reduce the frequency of use from every day to every other day or so. Also, make sure you choose a gentle cleanser that isn’t compounding the issue and ask your dermatologist for a less drying prescription if necessary.
Constant hand washing
This constant hand washing may leave your hands or legs dry. It is advisable to use lukewarm water and a cream-based hand cleanser if possible. Immediately follow with your favorite hand lotion while hands are still damp and primed for absorption.
Take a lot of precaution when going to some pools since may be contaminated and they can cause some skin diseases. Also, some pools have high levels of chlorine, which can dry it up
Nurses, hair stylists, and people in other occupations often touch water throughout the day. This can cause the skin to become dry, raw, and cracked.
People who had atopic dermatitis (also called eczema) as a child tend to have this problem as adults. Psoriasis also causes very dry skin.
Age, thyroid problems, and hormonal imbalances
In elderly, metabolic changes, tendency to reduce liquid intake, associated to the physiological skin aging process (keratinocytes move slowly from the basal layer of the epidermis to the stratum corneum and oil glands are less active), determine xerosis, thinning, and loss of elasticity. Hormone imbalances that occur in menopause, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism can also experience severe skin dryness.
“Friction strips the skin and enhances the dryness,” says Nanette Silverberg, MD, a dermatology professor at Columbia University.
We have looked at general causes and symptoms. Let us not look at causes for under eyes. Common causes could be due to the following:
Frequently using or overusing facial cleansers and other skin products such as facial scrubs with micro-beads, and deep cleansers, etc. that contains harsh chemicals can result in dryness.
Regular use or abuse will permanently damage the epidermis, which does not only leave it darker looking and more prone to sun damage but also increases its risk of bacterial, fungal and viral infection resulting to inflammation.
Eye skin stress
It can stimulate dry skin under eyes also. Excessive rubbing can cause stress. This is the reason why dermatologists recommend against furious face scrubbing or constantly rubbing your face with unclean hands. This damages the epidermis and compromises your vision as well.
This a common effect of allergic reactions due to certain irritants touching your skin, according to the Eye Care Source website. Your eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow or the tools used for applying them may have accumulated bacteria over time, which may lead to the dry and itchiness around the eye.
This is an inflammatory condition that affects the eyelids, due to malfunctioning oil glands. This condition causes red, itchy and flaky eyelids. When it makes your skin flake, it also causes it to dry out.
Other causes include:
- Poor hygiene
- Sunburn injury
- Perioral Dermatitis
This issue is common enough that most people will notice it at least once in their life, if not more. But in the rare situation do they indicate any skin disease or infection. They are mainly as a result of harsh soaps, wearing itchy clothing, taking long and hot showers, or misusing moisturizer.
In some few instances, some medication may be to blame for these dry patches. There are several medications that can cause a dry spot on the skin, such as retinoid conditions like acne and diuretics or similar high blood pressure medication.
Dry scalp is one of the causes of dandruff on the head, although no one knows precisely what causes dandruff. Some of the common reasons your scalp can get dry and itchy include the following:
It causes redness, itching, and flaking. It can occur in many parts of the body. When it affects the scalp, it’s called dandruff. It’s treatable.
It happens when the immune system triggers too many skin cells to grow in various parts of the body. That can include your scalp resulting in dandruff-like itching and flaking.
This condition can make your scalp itchy and flaky, though mostly occurs in children than in the adult. Moisturizers and prescription steroid creams can help relieve the symptoms, as can avoiding harsh soaps and scratching.
How to get rid of dry skin at remedies
For treatment, you have the option of using moisturizers or dealing with the underlying cause. On the other hand, while at home, you can get rid the dryness with various natural remedies, which include:
It is considered good for treating this condition. It has a good amount of fatty acids that make up for any loss of moisture.
It helps lock in moisture to make your skin extra soft and smooth. Plus, honey has many essential vitamins and minerals that help improve its health.
The lactic acid helps to exfoliate dry skin. The soothing nature of milk cream also helps preserve its delicate pH levels. Milk cream is also an excellent moisturizer.
It contains many antioxidants and healthy fatty acids that are good for your skin. It can soothe and condition it all over your body.