Dry Skin

Dry skin

Having dry skin is not a serious problem but it certainly makes you uncomfortable because your plump cells shrink and form fine lines and wrinkles. Dry skin can also be due to genetic disorder called ichthyosis but this may cause psychological distress to a person suffering from it. And such people should immediately go to dermatologist for proper treatment. However, the most common reasons for dry skin are hot and cold weather lacking humidity level, long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, and excessive bathing. Dry skin generally affects your lower legs, arms, flanks (sides of the abdomen), and thighs.

Common Dry Skin Symptoms

A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimming

Skin that appears shrunken or dehydrated

Skin that feels and looks rough rather than smooth

Itching that sometimes may be intense

Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling

Fine lines or cracks

Redness

Deep fissures that may bleed

Dry Skin Causes

Harsh soaps and detergents: Excessive use of antibacterial soaps, detergents and deodorants could damage your skin as many of these products break down lipids from the skin. Similarly, many shampoos dry out your scalp because they contain several chemicals.

Weather: Skin normally dries up in winter due to low humidity level. Those living in deserts can also suffer from dry skin problem where temperatures soar to 110 F and humidity level plummets below 10 percent or less.

Central heating and air conditioning: Air conditioners, central heating systems, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces normally reduce humidity and desiccate your skin.

Hot baths and showers: Frequent showering and bathing, especially with hot water, strip lipids from the skin. Similarly, frequent swimming, especially in chlorinated water, can also damage your skin.

Other factors responsible for dry skin

Dehydration: Too much of exercise results in abundant sweating and may dehydrate your body. Similarly, less consumption of liquids, severe diarrhea and vomiting or a high fever can also parch your skin.

Alcohol and drugs: Consumption of alcohol and caffeine also dries up the skin. Similarly, intake of prescription drugs like diuretics, antihistamines and isotretinoin (Accutane) also cause drying effect.

Psoriasis: Those suffering from this disease experience rapid buildup of rough, dry and dead skin cells that form thick scales.

Thyroid disorders: Those suffering from Hypothyroidism, a glandular disorder resulting from insufficient production of thyroid hormones, experience less activity of sweat and oil glands that leads to rough and dry skin.

How to Treat Dry Skin

Limit bathing time: First limit your bath or shower time to 15 minutes or less. And instead of hot water, use lukewarm water. Take a bath not more than once because frequent bathing will remove the natural oils from the skin causing dryness. This is one of the effective dry skin remedies.

Don’t use harsh soaps: It’s better not to use harsh soaps and go for some cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers. However, mild soaps containing oils and fats can be used. Similarly, deodorant soaps can cause drying affects so use them in specific areas that develop an odor like armpits, genital area, and feet.

Pat dry: Don’t dry your skin vigorously with a towel after bathing. Gently pat or blot your skin leaving it slightly moist.

Use good moisturizer: Always moisturize your skin after pat dry. Those having very dry skin can use baby oil to seal their skin to keep water from escaping. This is one of the useful way for dry skin treatment.

Use humidifier: Hot and cold air can ruin your skin and make it drier. Those using air conditioners and central heating systems mostly suffer from dry skin. Hence, use humidifier to add moisture to the air inside your home.

Wear suitable fabric: Use skin-friendly fabric so that your skin may not feel uncomfortable. Natural fibers like cotton and silk are generally appropriate for dry skin. However, keep weather condition of your location in mind while choosing fabric.