Dry skin can make you feel both physically uncomfortable and embarrassed too. You can find yourself exerting all your willpower to not itch your skin in public and might feel the need to wear full-sleeved garments to hide those flaky elbows or legs.
It’s a fairly common problem that a lot of people experience. It occurs when your skin is not sufficiently hydrated, which can be caused by many different factors.
What causes dry skin and how do you treat it?
Your skin dries out when its top layer doesn’t contain enough natural oils to lock in moisture. A lack of protective oils can have many different causes, ranging from hormonal imbalances to using the wrong soap. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of dry skin:
Soaps & shampoos: Don’t go by the brand; go by the ingredients. If your soap or shampoo is too acidic, it can destroy necessary oils and leave your skin dry. On the other hand, soaps and shampoos that are milder for your skin are always a better option; consider using body washes that are designed to moisturise your skin while also cleansing it.
Genetics: Blame it on your genes! If several people in your family tree have dry skin, chances are that you’re predisposed to have it too.
Weather: Our skin gets dry in colder temperatures as humidity levels in the air drop. Similarly, if you live in areas with a dry, non-humid climate, you’re also likely to have drier skin. Confusingly enough, you can also end up with drier skin in the monsoons as you end up having more baths and using more soap or shampoo than normal.
Hot water: Hot showers too, though soothing, rob your skin of the moisture it needs to stay supple. It’s always best to bathe in lukewarm water.
Hard water: Water with a high concentration of minerals can leave a film on your skin, making it hard to absorb moisturisers. Installing a home filtration system can help combat this problem.
The types of dry skin
The medical term for dry skin is xerosis, and the types of dry skin are:
Contact dermatitis: This kind of dry skin occurs when something comes in contact with your skin and causes an allergic reaction. Your skin will turn dry, itchy and red. Contact with jewellery, cosmetics, detergents or topical medications can also cause this condition.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis): This is a chronic skin condition which causes dry, scaly patches to appear on your skin. Eczema is caused due to myriad reasons like the weather, stress, irritants, infections, allergies and even sweat. This condition is quite common among children.
Seborrheic dermatitis: This skin condition could be caused by a yeast infection or even due to a weak immune system. Wearing tight clothes or keeping areas of your body moist for long periods of time increases your risk of developing this issue.
Risk factors for dry skin
While dry skin can affect anyone, certain conditions increase the risk of developing it:
Age: As we grow older, our skin produces less oil starts to get drier. That’s why it’s important to cultivate a good skin care routine earlier in adulthood!
Occupations: Work conditions that require you to touch water frequently, like hairstyling, cooking or even scuba diving can increase your chances of developing dry skin. This is also true if you have an outdoor job or if you have to spend long hours in an air-conditioned room.
Fluid intake: Water hydrates your skin cells, helping your skin stay supple. Drinking water at the right times during the day can improve your skin health and overall wellbeing.
Signs and Symptoms of dry skin
Flaky and rough skin: When our skin loses moisture, it starts to flake off. This can also cause your skin to take on a rough texture.
Cracks in the skin: After our skin loses moisture it begins to shrink, which can cause it to crack.
Itching: People who have very dry skin feel an itchy sensation which tends to get exacerbated at night.
Skin infections: Bacteria can enter our skin through the cracked, dry skin, which can cause infections with redness and pus.
Home remedies for dry skin treatment
If you’re constantly struggling with dry skin, it’s best to see a skin specialist. To get some immediate relief from symptoms, on the other hand, try out these natural remedies for skin hydration and flawless skin.
Sunflower seed oil: Organic cold-pressed sunflower seed oil contains fatty acids that preserve and strengthen the skin barrier, reducing water loss. It also gets absorbed into the skin quickly, so use it topically!
Coconut oil: When it comes to your skin, virgin coconut oil is the gift that keeps on giving. Coconut oil is rich in healthy fats needed to protect your skin. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating properties, making it a soothing solution for several skin conditions.
Oatmeal bath: Powdered oatmeal can act like a natural exfoliant, and it is also rich in antioxidants that repair and rejuvenate your skin. If you’re having a bucket bath, add powdered oatmeal to your water while bathing to get relief from dry, itchy skin.
Glutathione supplements: The antioxidant glutathione has powerful detoxification properties that cleanse your body and skin from within. It also promotes skin rejuvenation, helping your skin stay soft and supple. With age or due to an unhealthy diet, glutathione levels in your body begin to decline. Taking a supplement like Setu Skin: Renew can help your body make up for the deficiency, and detoxing mocktails can also boost your skin health.
When should you see a doctor for dry or rough skin?
If home remedies don’t give you relief, it’s a good idea to visit a dermatologist. Additionally, if your dry skin is hampering your confidence and the quality of your life, seeing a doctor will help you get the right treatment so that you can start enjoying every day activities.
1) Can dry skin cause acne?
Yes. If your skin is dry, it will develop cracks. Bacteria can enter through these breaches and cause infections and breakouts.
2) Can I apply makeup on dry skin?
Applying makeup on dry skin is not advisable, and it might be best to consult a dermatologist before doing so. Always moisturize before applying make-up!
3) What is the appropriate clothing for dry skin?
Wearing natural fibres, like cotton and silk, helps because they allow your skin to breathe. Avoid wearing woollen or synthetic clothes as their fibres can feel itchy and exacerbate your discomfort.
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