Millions of individuals worldwide suffer from dry skin, or xerosis, on an ongoing basis. Sometimes just a temporary situation, dry skin can worsen during winter when humidity drops. For some people however, dry skin doesn’t resolve easily leaving them to hoodpay cope with the uncomfortable symptoms year round.
Dry Skin Symptoms
Dry skin is most commonly found on the arms, lower legs and sides of the abdomen, but this can vary amongst individuals. In addition, the symptoms of dry skin will vary depending on a range of factors including age, health status, external environment and the amount of time spent outdoors.
Skin that is dry may exhibit the following symptoms:
A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, redribbonlive bathing or swimming
Skin that appears shrunken or dehydrated
Skin that feels and looks rough rather than smooth
Itching (pruritus) that sometimes may be quite intense. Individuals often scratch to relieve the itch.
Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
Fine lines or cracks; even deep fissures that may bleed
The Cause of Dry Skin
In order to treat dry skin, it’s important to first understand what causes it. Although the skin is divided up into several layers, it is the epidermis or uppermost layer that is affected in cases of dry skin. A thin layer, called the stratum corneum, covers the epidermis. It is the space between the skin cells in the stratum corneum (the intercellular matrix) that is damaged leaving it unable to retain moisture and protect skin from the external environment. This damage ristomanager results in skin that is dry, rough, itchy or even cracked.
Certain factors can lead to dry skin including:
Dry air, over-heating, air conditioning
Hot showers and baths
Alcohol containing skin care products
External conditions such as wind, cold air, sun
Dehydration to some extent
Aging, which leads to a decrease in oil production and a smaller lipid barrier. As well, a decline in hormone production (estrogen in particular) in women leads to thinner MATRIX CRACK skin and less fat deposits which can contribute to dry skin.
Your sex. Men produce more testosterone than women and it is this hormone that can contribute to oil production. This can help prevent men’s skin from becoming as dry as women’s.
Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism
Drugs including retinoids, diuretics, antihistamines and alcohol
Sun exposure. The sun can damage the intracellular matrix leaving dry skin behind.
Related Dry Skin Conditions
A number of skin conditions may appear to be dry skin and while not technically dry skin, are related to it:
Keratosis pilaris. Often referred to as “chicken skin”, keratosis pilaris tends to appear on upper arms, legs and even buttocks. Dry skin can contribute to keratosis pilaris
Ichthyosis vulgaris. Sometimes to as fish scale disease ichthyosis occurs when skin cells fail to shed normally leaving small scales that can result in flaking on the scalp as well as on palms of the hand and soles of the feet.
Asteatotic eczema (eczema craquele). Asteatotic eczema results in dry, scaly and very deeply fissured skin. Skin tends to be inflamed and itchy and often bleeds.
Psoriasis. Marked by reddened skin with dry, silvery scales, psoriasis sometimes resembles dandruff.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Dry skin tends to be uncomfortable rather than dangerous, however it may lead to more serious conditions when the skin’s normal protective mechanisms are severely compromised as in the very young, the elderly or those who suffer from an illness. Here’s when medical attention may be required:
Eczema (dermatitis) – If skin gives rise to redness, cracking and inflammation, then you may be wise to get medical help.
Folliculitis – An inflammation of your hair follicles.
Cellulitis – This potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin’s underlying tissues may enter the lymphatic system and blood vessels. Antiobiotics will most likely be necessary.