Dry Skin

Dry Skin

What’s classified as dry skin?

Dry skin can be observed as tightened skin with inability to fully mobilize the skin’s surface. Skin can itch, flake, crack, bleed, feel and look rough, peel, scale, etc.

Why do I have it?

  • Lack of proper moisturization: Make sure to use a thick moisturizing cream, especially after showering.
  • Weather: Skin experiences dryness especially in the winter due to the low temperatures and reduced hydration (humidity) in the atmosphere.
  • Heat: Heaters, fireplaces, or any artificial source of heat causes the humidity levels to decrease and dry out the skin.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents: Soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc. are formulated to decrease the levels of oil in the hair and skin. Consequently, the skin may lose its moisture and become dry if the ingredients of these substances are too harsh.
  • Skin conditions: Skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema are more prone to cause dry skin.
  • Swimming: Chlorine can dry skin easily because it causes sebum to be stripped from the skin’s protective layer.
  • Hot showers and baths: Long hot showers/baths pull moisture from the skin and cause skin to tighten and dry out, sometimes even causing cracks.

Are there any complications?

  • Eczema: If you have suffered from this condition previously, dry skin can lead to a recurrence or flare of eczema observed as cracked skin, inflammation, small bumps, and redness.
  • Infections: When the skin cracks due to dryness, bacteria can manifest in the wounds and cause infection.

How can this be treated?

  • Moisturize well.
  • Lactic acid creams.
  • Prescription creams.
  • Hydrocortisone creams.
  • Wet dressings.

What are the preventative measures I can take?

  • Use a thick cream moisturizer
  • Avoid harsh soaps and detergents: It’s best to use gentle cleansers and soaps that add moisture to the skin. Soaps with added oils and fats work to keep the skin moisturized and prevent dry skin.
  • Wear material suitable to skin: Some materials, such as wool, can cause irritation of the skin and subsequent rashes, bumps, and redness. Softer fabrics, such as cotton and silk, can soothe the skin.
  • Use a steam humidifier: Humidifiers create a hydrated atmosphere and battle the heat to moisturize the skin and prevent itching or flaking.
  • Use warm water and limit showers/baths to 5-10 minutes.

If you are suffering from dry skin, our dermatologists can help recommend ways to help your skin feel better.