Dry Skin: Causes & Treatment

Dry skin tends to be a skin condition that affects both men and women. However, the chances are that the skin will become dryer with age or if you live in areas with extreme weather conditions such as wind, heat, and so on.

However, it is not only these environmental stressors that can lead to the dryness of the skin. The causes can be multiple and quite varied. For example, did you ever think that even hot water can cause dry skin on the face, body, and hands?

Well, let’s dive in and have a look at how you should adjust the temperature in the shower to avoid getting dry skin! Before anything else, let’s have a look at the causes of dry skin.

What causes dry skin?

We have already mentioned about skin getting drier with the natural aging process, so this is one of the factors that are known to contribute to this condition of the skin.

Dry skin often occurs with aging in areas of the body such as the hands, legs, arms, and even on the abdominal area.

The natural aging process can be a cause of dry skin

Did you ever wonder why the itchy legs in winter? Well, skin dryness is the answer to this.

So, among the first factors, we have aging. As we age, the skin tends to produce less natural oils. Some people resort to different solutions such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil even before they realize they are confronted with a skin issue that is there to stay.

Applying petroleum jelly on the hands or the areas most affected by dryness skin can provide instant relief from the tight sensation; however, in a vast majority of cases, petroleum jelly is not a long term solution, at least not on its own.

In association with other home remedies, it can actually work quite well and keep your hands protected, especially when going out in very cold weather.

Cold weather might influence skin condition

And since we mentioned the weather, it is a good time to introduce another cause of dry skin – extreme temperatures. As mentioned above, it can be something as simple as too hot water in the shower, but also going outside in the cold without proper protection for your hands and face.

Generally speaking, the best method you can use to protect your hands from the cold is too apply a good-quality moisturizer before getting them in the gloves. If you are not wearing gloves, reapply the moisturizer several times while you are outside to provide optimal protection for the skin.

The moisturizer is also the best solution to protect the skin on your face in cold weather too.

Medication, detergents and skin conditions can cause dryness

Certain medication, as well as using cleaning solutions with harsh chemical ingredients, can also make your skin dry. Dry skin can also have a genetic cause, so you might have just inherited it from your parents.

In other cases, dry skin is just a manifestation of a skin condition, for example, atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is a condition that occurs most frequently in children; however, even adults can suffer from it.

What does dry skin look like?

Dry skin can be flaky, cracked, and itchy. The itchiness associated with overly dry skin can even cause skin inflammation, as well as redness in the area and other symptoms just as unpleasant.

Dry skin also lacks elasticity, so it is more prone to show premature signs of aging. So, if you have dry skin at the level of the face, you might want to address the condition as soon as possible to avoid getting deep wrinkles and fine lines much earlier in life compared to other people with normal skin.

Irritation, inflammation, and redness – common symptoms of dry skin

The areas of the body with overly dry skin get irritated easily, and the white skin flakes can be seen even on the inside of your pants, especially if they are tight.

It doesn’t look nice, and it certainly doesn’t feel nice. So, do you want to know more about how you can get rid of this problem?

How to get rid of dry skin?

As there are many different causes behind skin dryness, there can also be different solutions. However, there are some things that might do the trick, whatever the cause might be.

Let’s have a look at what you can do to get rid of dry skin:

  • Avoid long baths with hot water and also use warm water when you shower. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t spend more than five to ten minutes in the shower, if you want to avoid getting dry skin.
  • Avoid traditional soaps and shower gels that might be too harsh on the skin. Switch to natural, bio soaps, or try cleansing products designed for sensitive skin.
  • Apply a natural oil (Argan oil, avocado oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc.) on damp skin as soon as you are done with the shower. You can remove the excess with a towel or just let it dry for a few minutes. The benefits for the skin are incredible!

Be careful with exfoliation if you have dry skin!

  • Avoid using the scrub too often if you suffer from dry skin. While exfoliating is a healthy routine that can lead to glowing skin, too much of it can have the exact opposite effect. Make sure to use a moisturizer after exfoliation.
  • Wash your clothes with a gentle detergent (fragrance-free, if possible). If you have never considered washing your clothes with baby detergent, now would be a good time to start!
  • Cover your skin as much as possible when going out in extreme heat or cold weather. Wear gloves and a hat to protect the skin.
  •  Use rubber gloves to protect the skin when using chemical substances while cleaning in the kitchen or the house.
  • Drink plenty of water! Getting proper hydration is crucial for healthy skin, so make sure to drink at least six glasses of water per day.

Dry skin at the level of the face

Something that most people don’t know is that even people with oily skin can suffer because of dry skin. You might wonder how is this even possible? How can the skin be dry if it is oily?

Well, it is important to know that at the level of the face, the skin is more delicate than in other areas of the body, and dehydration can easily occur, causing dry skin.

Skincare products for dry skin

More than this, we use different skin care products that are designed to correct imperfections or improve skin conditions.

For example, there are active ingredients such as lactic acid or retinol that aim to reduce hyperpigmentation and increase skin brightness, but they can cause dry skin. This is the reason why it is very important to choose carefully the skin care products you use on your dry skin.

Depending on your skin type, you can choose a serum or facial oil to improve the condition of the skin. Also, keep in mind that a moisturizer, preferably with a high SPF is mandatory, whatever the season might be.

Best moisturizers for dry skin

When it comes to keeping dry skin hydrated, you can always rely on your moisturizer or moisturizing lotion. There are moisturizers designed to be used on all areas of the body, while others target just the facial area.

An important active ingredient to look for when getting a moisturizer for dry skin is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can retain moisture at the level of the skin and maintain hydration.

The cost is not always the best indicator when it comes to skincare, so instead of more expensive products, you can look for products with natural ingredients.

Final words about dry skin

Dry skin might be such an inconvenience, especially when associated with flakiness, irritation, and itchiness. Aside from the aesthetic concern, there is also the health factor related to dry skin, as it can be a symptom of a skin problem that might even require medical attention.

Use the suggestions we discussed in this article to prevent and treat dry skin. If the condition persists, a good idea would be to see your dermatologist.

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