Dry skin is a feature of inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis and, in these cases, the doctor or the dermatologist may choose to treat the condition with a steroid cream that reduces inflammation. Here is Know your skin series part 1 - What is dry skin.
What is dry skin, Types of dry skin, dry skin conditions
A condition (not necessarily a disease) where the skin is red, scaly and itchy. It's part of the group that includes eczema. Dry skin is most common on your face, hands, arms and legs. As you age, dry skin becomes more likely.
Dry skin is a very common condition. It happens more often in the winter where the cold air outside and the hot air inside creates a low relative humidity. This causes the skin to lose moisture and it may crack and peel. Bathing or hand washing too frequently, especially if one is using harsh soaps use fullers earth as face wash, soaps are not fine for skin, can contribute to dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin D, systemic illness, severe sunburn, or some medication.
When facial skin first begins to lose moisture, the dryness may be only noticed as:
#Very dry skin
If this initial dryness is not treated, it can progress to become:
- Very tight
#Sensitive dry facial skin
When the face becomes dry, it will often also be sensitive; however, facial sensitive skin is not always related to dryness. It is always important to avoid skin care products that contain irritating ingredients such as perfumes and colourants. Always check that the product is dermatologically tested on sensitive skin. What is dry skin has been elaborated.
What causes dry skin?
- Cold, dry winter air
- Furnaces that heat the air and remove moisture
- Hot, dry air in desert environments
- Air conditioners that cool the air and remove moisture
- Taking long, hot baths or showers frequently
- Washing your hands often
- Some soaps and detergents
- Skin conditions, such as eczema (1) and psoriasis (2)
- Certain medicines (both topical and oral)
- Aging, during which skin gets thinner and produces less natural oil
How can I prevent dry skin?
- Moisturize your skin with an ointment, cream, or lotion 2 to 3 times a day, or as often as needed.
- Moisturizers help lock in moisture, so they work best on damp skin. After you bathe, pat skin dry then apply your moisturizer.
- Avoid skin care products and soaps that contain alcohol, fragrances, dyes, or other chemicals.
- Take short, warm baths or showers. Limit your time to 5 to 10 minutes. Avoid taking hot baths or showers.
- Bathe only once a day.
- Instead of regular soap, try using gentle skin cleansers or soap with added moisturizers.
- Only use soap or cleansers on your face, underarms, genital areas, hands, and feet.
- Avoid scrubbing your skin.
- Shave right after bathing, when hair is soft.
- Wear soft, comfortable clothing next to your skin. Avoid rough fabrics like wool.
- Wash clothes with detergents that are free of dyes or fragrances.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Ease itchy skin by applying a cool compress to irritated areas.