Some Important Facts About Dry Skin

Dry skin (medically known as xerosis) can be uncomfortable as well as unsightly, although it is not usually serious medical problem. Most dry skin problems are usually caused by environmental conditions such as hot weather, cold weather, soaking in hot water for long, dry weather conditions caused by low humidity etc. Fortunately, these environmental conditions or factors can be controlled at least partially. Ingredients available at home can be of great use in such cases, such as use of moisturizers, avoiding certain soaps which tend to cause dry skin, drinking adequate fluids etc.

However, there are certain medical conditions that cause dry skin and also serious in nature, such as ichthyosis, which are a group of inherited skin disorders that can cause disfigurement (hence, upset and psychological problems too).

What are the symptoms of dry skin?

Most commonly dry skin is temporary, e.g. you get dry skin during winter. For some individuals dry skin may be there throughout the year, for decades. Symptoms of dry skin depends on your age, overall general health, place where you live, time you spent outdoors, as well as cause of the problem of dry skin. Symptoms of dry skin usually include,

  • Itching
  • Skin looks rough as well as feel rough.
  • Skin feels tight after bathing, showering, swimming
  • There may be scaling, peeling, flaking which may be mild to severe in nature
  • Skin color may change to greyish
  • There may be fine lines or cracks. On some occasions the cracks may be deep and may even bleed
  • There may be redness of skin

What are the causes of dry skin?

Dry skin may be caused by, environmental conditions (common cause) and may be due to certain medical conditions. Causes of dry skin include,

  • Weather: skin is usually dry during winter due to low moisture/humidity in air. If you live in desert region, low humidity is there throughout the year and it does not matter which season it is, air is always dry and dry skin may be there throughout the year.
  • Heat: if you live in cold region and use central heating, fireplace, space heaters etc. it causes lowering of humidity and dry skin.
  • Detergents and soaps may cause dry skin, especially if they are harsh for your skin.
  • Hot baths and showers and swimming may cause dry skin. If you take hot bath for long or take hot shower for long, you may get dry skin. If you swim in heavily chlorinated swimming pool for long, you may get dry skin.
  • Various skin conditions may cause dry skin such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, ichthyosis etc.

 

Image courtesy of [nenetus] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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