Dry Skin: Causes, Treatments & How to Manage It
What is dry skin?
Insufficient quantity of water present in the superficial layer of skin, the epidermis, causes the condition which is known as dry skin type. Even though dry skin is present in both males and females both, elderly people are more liable to be affected by this condition.
The skin of elderly people has low levels of lubricants and natural skin oils. Dry skin is more prevalent in areas like hands, arms and especially lower legs.
Causes of dry skin
Dry skin occurs as a result of various factors, which may be environmental or health-based conditions.
- Dry skins due to environmental reasons are:
- Too long hot showers or baths
- Living in dry and cold weather
- Utilizing strong cleaning products or deodorants
- Using heat sources like wood-burning stoves or central heating that cause dryness in the environment
Health conditions are also responsible for dry skin sometimes. Some of the reasons for these are:
Water is used by the body in order to regulate different processes and functions. If less quantity of water is consumed and used instead, then the body becomes dehydrated. Dry skin occurs when the body is affected.
Consuming a sufficient quantity of water results in dehydration if not taken in enough.
Eczema is a skin condition characterized by dry, irritated and inflamed skin. The conditions may be contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, nummular eczema and stasis dermatitis.
In the United States, more than 31 million people are suffering from eczema.
Treatment of dry skin
Dry skin is treated mostly by changes in lifestyle like using moisturizers and avoiding long, hot showers and baths. The doctor may suggest the use of over-the-counter cream consisting of components like lactic acid or lactic acid and urea for those with dry and scaly skin.
In case of more severe skin disease like psoriasis or ichthyosis and atopic dermatitis, for home treatment, the doctor suggests ointments and prescription creams for therapy.
Red and itchy skin is present in dermatitis, which may happen due to dry skin. Hydrocortisone-containing lotion may be used as a treatment for these cases. Wet dressings are prescribed by the doctor to avoid any infection if your skin splits.
How to manage dry skin?
1. Face Moisturizer
Water is stopped from evaporating into the atmosphere by using moisturizers. Use a moisturizer on the skin many times a day and also use it after showering. Thick moisturizers are more suitable than those of brands Eucerin and Cetaphil.
2. Facial cleanser
If you have dry skin, then you should choose the facial cleanser, which contains hydrating and skin-soothing ingredients so they will keep your skin hydrated and prevent dehydration and dryness.
Some of the best facial cleansers for dry skin are;
- Cetaphil Dry & Sensitive Skin Cleanser
- Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser
- Beauty Formula Vitamin E Facial Wash
- Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser
3. Lukewarm water bath
Oils are cleared away from the skin by taking too long showers or baths and hot water. Your bath or shower should not be more than five or 10 minutes, also. Use warm water, not scalding hot.
4. Avoid drying soaps
While taking a bath or shower, try using skin cleansers or cleansing creams and gels included with moisturizers—select mild soaps consisting of fats and oils. Do not use deodorant and antibacterial detergents, alcohol and fragrance.
5. Humidifier for dry skin
Scorching of sensitive skin occurs due to hot, dry air that increases irritation and flaking. Moisture is increased within the house when a person uses a portable home humidifier or one attached to a furnace. Also, it is essential to clean the humidifier.
6. Soft fabrics for dry skin
The skin is more comfortable in natural fibers like silk and cotton. Skin can easily become irritated due to wool, even though it is a natural fiber.
Irritation of the skin is also stimulated due to dyes or perfumes present in detergents while washing clothes.