What Causes Dry Skin, How to prevent & Treat It
Dry skin occurs when the skin loses water too quickly and therefore becomes dehydrated or when the skin does not retain sufficient moisture. Things that can increase the risk of the skin losing water or moisture are: the use of harsh soaps, ageing, certain medical conditions, and seasonal change like dry winter air. During winter or dry months you may suffer from red, flaky, split, rough, raw, and itchy skin. It is because cold winter air means low humidity outdoors and indoors. The water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. It’s also important to choose the right kind of moisturizer for your skin type. If your skin is extremely dry, look for a moisturizer with humectants, ceramides and emollients.
Dry skin can affect any part of your body. It commonly affects hands, arms, and legs. In many cases, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers may be all you need to treat it. If those treatments aren’t enough, you should contact your doctor.
Skin moisturizers, which rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in the moisture, are the first step in combating dry skin. They can contain three main types of ingredients. Humectants, which help attract moisture, include ceramides, glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, and lecithin. Seal that moisture within the skin. Emollients such as linoleic, linolenic, and lauric acids, help smooth skin by filling in the spaces between skin cells.
Symptoms of dry skin
There are a few markers of dry skin that may point to a need for treatment or lifestyle changes. These symptoms can include:
- the flaky or rough texture of the skin
- excessive itchiness
- skin burns or stings
- peeling skin
Risk factors for dry skin
Dry skin can affect anyone. But some risk factors raise your chances of developing dry skin, including:
- Age. Older adults are more likely to develop dry skin. As you age, your pores naturally produce less oil, raising your risk of dry skin.
- Medical history. You’re more likely to experience eczema or allergic contact dermatitis if you have a history of these conditions or other allergic diseases in your family.
- Season. Dry skin is more common during the fall, winter, and some dry months when humidity levels are relatively low. In the summer, a higher level of humidity helps stop your skin from drying out.
- Bathing habits. Taking frequent baths or washing with very hot water raises your risk of dry skin.
Can dry skin cause acne?
While some may assume that you’ll only get acne when your skin is oily, that’s not the case. Dry skin can also cause acne, as blemishes sometimes occur when there is general damage to the skin. To combat both dry skin and acne breakouts, consider continuing your skincare as usual also, apply a moisturizer that is formulated for acne-prone skin twice a day. Avoid harsh chemicals, such as rubbing alcohol, as they can dry your skin out even more.
Outlook for dry skin
If you experience occasional dry skin, you can likely prevent and treat it using simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers. If you develop severe dry skin, make an appointment with your doctor.
If left untreated, dermatitis can get worse. Early treatment will help you to feel comfortable sooner. It will also lower your risk of complications, such as open wounds from scratching and skin infections.
How to prevent dry skin
Simple lifestyle changes can sometimes help to prevent and relieve dry skin. Try to:
- avoid using hot water to bathe
- use a moisturizing soap when you bathe or shower
- apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering, allow it to penetrate before putting on clothes.
- pat, rather than rub wet skin dry with a soft towel
- avoid itching or scrubbing dry skin patches
- use a humidifier in your home
- drink plenty of water
- change your skincare routine that is suitable for dry skin and as directed by your doctor
Treatment for dry skin
Your doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your dry skin.In some cases, they may refer you to a skin specialist or dermatologist. Along with lifestyle remedies, they may recommend over-the-counter or prescription ointments, creams, or lotions to treat your symptoms.
Our products for skin nurturing all year around.
Quality moisturizers can help soothe and repair dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Moisturizer is an essential piece of any skincare routine. It helps maintain your skin’s moisture barrier and protects your skin from environmental damage.
If you’re experiencing dry or dull skin, you can benefit from a daily lightweight moisturizer that is jam-packed with hydrating ingredients, like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid.
If you have severely dry skin, flaking, eczema, or if you live in a cold climate, you might want to opt for a thicker formula designed for your specific skin concerns.
But with so many moisturizers on the market, how do you find one that works for you? It usually comes down to a matter of preference. You may choose to have a few on hand to suit your various needs.