Dry skin is not just a problem because of all the itching, it’s a problem because your skin fights against infections and if it is irritating and cracked opens doors for all kinds of bacteria and infections. So the big question is, exactly what is causing dry skin in your case right now?
Dry skin can be caused by simple factors such as aggressive soaps, clothing that is not skin friendly, misusing your moisturizer or even long, hot showers. Yes, even a nice, long bath in steaming water can be the reason for dry skin as well. It’s also caused by diabetes, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition.
A healthy skin has a thin layer of fatty acids and lipids to cushion the outer layer, leaving it soft and supple. Dry skin is caused when the skin is stripped of its small even outline of those healthy fatty acids and is exposed to the dry environment that hits the skin roughly without the fatty acid cushion. You have to figure out what you are doing or failing to do that is stripping your skin of its precious fatty acid layer.
Dry skin is medically called xerosis and the condition is not too common. It is either internally induced or genetic. This condition leads to patches on the arms, legs, hands, and lower legs. Even though these patches are basically colorless, they can be painful and itchy. In some cases, they become visible and are a cause of embarrassment as well. In severe cases, the condition leads to inflammation of the skin called dermatitis.
Moisturizers are a common sense solution to dry skin but did you know that they can also be a part of the problem? Moisturizers are designed to trap moisture in your skin. If you apply moisturizer on completely dry skin then it will just get absorb and it will dry up again. Use moisturizer on the mildly damp skin so that the moisturizer has some water to trap on your skin, allowing it to do its job.
Dry air can cause dry skin; either in extreme winter or extreme summer; such cases are not entirely unheard of. To add to the misery, air conditioning in summer and internal heating in winter can have a similar effect on your skin. Use a humidifier in your bedroom and use scarves, hats and gloves outdoors. Also use moisturizers effectively in summer.
When exposed to hot water for prolonged periods of time, your skin can lose its own sebum producing capacity. It will keep producing sebum during the shower which the hot water will dissolve forcing the skin cells into over-drive. Shower for 10 to 15 minutes and use cold or mild water rather than steaming hot water. Also, make sure you use body moisturizer immediately after you dry off afterward!
Avoid abusing them in showers. When you feel like you need a shower, you just need to take a comfortable hot bath rather than scrub your body. People are usually not too dirty and when you scrub yourself like you are about to undergo surgery you strip your body of sebum and leave it extra dry.
Dry skin is a common problem, but its root causes are surprisingly less known to people. We hope that you understand the causes better now and will take better care of your skin. It will be well worth it in the long run. Not only will you be left with shiny skin but you will be the envy of all your friends.