Ordinary dry skin (xerosis) usually isn’t serious, but it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, turning plump cells into shriveled ones and creating fine lines and wrinkles. More serious dry skin conditions, such as the inherited group of disorders called ichthyosis, can sometimes be disfiguring enough to cause psychological distress.
Causes of dry skin
Factors which contribute to dry and cracked skin include:
* Inherited factors
* Metabolic factors such as an underactive thyroid gland, or excessive weight loss.
* Increasing age, resulting in decreased natural lubrication.
* Cool weather, especially when windy or the humidity is low.
The No Soak Rule. Soaking in a tub, Jacuzzi, or lingering in a hot shower may feel nice, but later on you may find your skin becoming exceptionally dry. Soaking in all that water does not add moisture to your skin, but instead strips away your natural oils that keep you staying soft and supple. Keep your baths or showers short and avoid extreme temperatures in your water; keep it warm but not too hot.
Skip the Bath Oils. Yes, bath oils may smell nice and seem like a good idea, but in fact, the opposite is true (well, except for the smelling nice part). When it comes to your skin, bath oils are not going to moisturize and instead make you want to soak for even longer than usual. We have already established the No Soak Rule.
Also, oils may wind up trapping some cleansing product ingredients to your skin. Having these ingredients stuck on you even after you step out of the tub can lead to more dryness and irritation. Wait until later to put oils on your skin.
Skip the Soap. Unless a soap is specifically made for dry skin and you know it will not make your skin worse, avoid them. Instead, opt for cleansers that are gentle on your skin and do not leave you with a feeling of dried skin anywhere on your body. When washing, avoid getting overzealous with scrubbing as this will only further remove natural oils and leave your skin even drier than before.
Exfoliate. Though you do not want to over scrub your skin, you do want to remove dead skin cells to give your skin a fresh, healthy look. Find a gentle product exfoliating product for dry skin. Be careful when choosing a product that contains harsh abrasive elements as these will only serve to harm your skin more.
Moisturize. Locate a moisturizer with plenty of ingredients meant to help lock moisture in to your skin and help protect skin from the elements.
Ingredients such as anti oxidants, anti inflammatory components, and lipids can be beneficial to your skin in keeping it soft and protected. Some ingredients in moisturizers can be susceptible to light and air, so buy moisturizers in containers that are not clear or in jars.
Moisturize Again. When you feel your skin becoming dry, it is time to put on more moisturizer. Do not worry about putting it on too much or too often; if you skin is constantly soaking it up and becoming dry again, there is nothing wrong with helping your skin out by adding more.
After you wash your hands, they can dry out, so that is a good time to reapply. If you put moisturizer on your face in the morning and then feel it drying out later after facing winter winds or harsh sunlight, reapply. This means you will have to keep your moisturizer handy, so find ways of keeping it with you wherever you go, just in case.
What medicines treat itching?
A moisturizer might be all you need to relieve itching. If a moisturizer does not help enough, you could try using 1 percent hydrocortisone steroid skin cream for a week. If this is not helpful, your doctor may prescribe stronger steroids or antihistamine pills.
If you use a steroid cream to treat itching, you should not use the medicine for longer than 1 to 2 weeks. Be very careful when you put a steroid cream on your face or genital area. Steroid creams may make your skin get very thin and may cause other skin problems. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are using a steroid cream or ointment to treat your itching.
How Do I know if I Have Dermatitis?
Dry skin is defined as flaking or scaling — which may or may not be itchy — when there is no evidence of dermatitis, or inflammation, of the skin. Some flaking along with redness, however, may be a sign of an underlying dermatitis. There are different types of dermatitis that may cause dry, itchy, flaking skin.