We are going to discuss dry skin, symptoms of dry skin, causes of dry skin, how can we prevent it, home remedies for dry skin that are effective in dry skin and I will give you some tips that will help you to avoid dry skin. So let’s start;-
There’s also something else that goes hand in hand with winter dry skin. While it can happen at any time of the year, it’s known to become more common during the winter months.
If dry skin happens at any time of the year then it can be a serious problem. Often itchy, dry skin is caused by environmental factors, such as cold weather and frequent bathing, and by medical conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and malnutrition. Dry skin develops due to a decrease in the natural oils in the outer layer of the skin, which makes the skin lose water.
What is dry skin
Medicated name:- Xerosis, Xerosis cutis, dermatitis, xeroderma.
Normal skin has a softness because of its water content. For skin to feel soft, pliable, and “normal,” its top layer must contain a minimum of 10% water and ideally between 20% and 35%. To help protect the outer layer of skin from losing water, the skin’s sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is a complex mixture of fatty acids, sugars, waxes, and other natural chemicals that form a protective barrier against water evaporation. If the skin doesn’t have enough sebum, it loses water and feels dry. If environmental factors cause more water evaporation and overwhelm the ability of sebum to prevent water loss, the skin will shrivel and crack.
Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterized by a lack of adequate water in the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. While dry skin affects both men and women equally, older people are much more prone to dry skin. The skin of older people has a reduced amount of natural oils and lubricants. Areas such as the arms, hands, and especially the lower legs are more affected by dry skin.
Environmental factors, such as humidity and temperature, have a profound effect on the amount of water retained in the skin. For example, cold, dry air when heated by an oven will produce dry skin by evaporating moisture from the skin. Frequent hand washing and disinfection cause evaporation and dryness. Dry skin can also be a side effect of certain medications and a by-product of certain skin conditions.
The epidermis is normally made up of lipids and proteins. The lipid part of the epidermis, associated with specific epidermal proteins, helps prevent skin dehydration. When there are deficient proteins and lipids, moisture in the skin evaporates more easily. When the skin becomes dry, it can also become more sensitive and prone to rashes and skin breakdown.
“Dry skin is a skin condition characterized by excessively dry skin. Dry skin refers to skin that feels dry to the touch. Dry skin is lacking moisture in the stratum corneum and this results in cracks in the skin surface”
Types of Dry Skin
Exposure to dry weather, hot water, and certain chemicals can dry out your skin. Underlying medical conditions can also cause dry skin.
Dermatitis is the medical term for extremely dry skin. There are following several types of dermatitis;-
- Contact dermatitis:- Contact dermatitis develops when your skin reacts to something it affects, causing local inflammation. Irritant contact dermatitis can occur when your skin is exposed to a chemical irritant, such as bleach. Allergic contact dermatitis can develop when your skin is exposed to a substance to which you are allergic, such as nickel.
- Seborrheic dermatitis:- Seborrheic dermatitis occurs when the skin produces too much oil. This results in a red, scaly rash usually on your scalp. This type of dermatitis occurs in infants.
- Atopic dermatitis:- Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. It is a chronic skin condition that causes dry, scaly patches to appear on your skin. It is common in young children. Other conditions, such as psoriasis and type 2 diabetes, can also cause the skin to dry out.
Symptoms of dry skin
Sometimes, the only symptom of dry skin is itching, although most people also will notice that their skin is slightly more wrinkled than normal. Symptoms of dry skin may worsen during the winter months, especially if you spend a lot of time indoors, where the heated air is dry.
The key symptom of dry skin is itching. People who have dry skin can often find rough, dry, red patches on their skin, and these patches are often itchy. Typical skin areas affected include arms, hands, lower legs, abdomen, and areas of friction such as ankles and soles. As skin dryness becomes more severe, cracks and fissures may evolve.
However, there are the following signs and symptoms of dry skin;-
- Rough dry skin
- Red plaques of skin (nummular eczema)
Constantly scratching and rubbing the skin may cause the skin to become thick and leathery. For others, small, red, raised bumps may appear on their skin, and these bumpy spots can be irritated, opened, and infected if scratched.
Causes of dry skin
There is no single cause of dry skin. Dry skin causes can be classified as;-
External factors are the most common underlying cause and are the easiest to address.
External factors include cold temperatures and low humidity, especially during the winter when central heaters are used.
- Internal factors include overall health, age, genetics, family history, and a personal history of other medical conditions like atopic dermatitis.
In particular, those with certain thyroid diseases are more prone to developing dry skin.
One of the most common factors causing dry skin is the frequent application of harsh soaps.
The type of soap may have a large impact on dry skin. Soap is an emulsifier that removes oils on the skin. The more often skin is scrubbed with soap, the more oil is removed, ultimately resulting in drier skin. Excessive use of soaps can worsen dry skin.
External factors that cause dry skin include
- Over-washing with harsh soaps,
- Overuse of sanitizers and lipid solvents (alcohol),
- Cold temperature,
- Low humidity.
Internal factors that cause dry skin include;-
Age:- Older people are more prone to dry skin because of natural changes in the skin. As we age, the sebaceous and sweat glands dry out and the skin loses fat and elasticity, which makes it thinner.
Genetic factors:- Some people inherit certain skin conditions, such as eczema, which causes dry skin.
Certain diseases:- Certain illnesses, including diabetes and kidney disease, can cause dry, itchy skin. Eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition are all associated with dry skin.
Certain medications:- Dry skin conditions may be caused by taking some medicines, as well. Some examples are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergy, and acne medications.
Tips to get rid of dry skin
- Moisturize your skin with an ointment, cream or lotion 2 to 3 times a day, or as often as needed.
- Moisturizers help lock in moisture, so they work best on damp skin. After bathing, pat dries the skin and then apply your moisturizer.
- Avoid skincare products and soaps that contain alcohol, perfumes, dyes, or other chemicals.
- Take short, hot baths or showers. Limit your time to 5 to 10 minutes. Avoid taking hot baths or showers.
- Bathe only once a day.
- Instead of regular soap, try using mild skin cleansers or soap with added moisturizers.
- Use only soap or cleansers on your face, armpits, genitals, hands, and feet.
- Avoid rubbing your skin.
- Shave right after a bath, when the hair is soft.
- Wear soft, comfortable clothing close to your skin. Avoid rough fabrics like wool.
- Wash clothes with detergents free of dyes or perfumes.
- To drink a lot of water.
- Relieve itchy skin by applying a cool compress to the irritated areas.
- Try over-the-counter cortisone creams or lotions if your skin is inflamed.
- Look for moisturizers that contain ceramides.
Role of nutrients and vitamins in dry skin
It takes a complex combination of nutrients to keep skin cells healthy and maintain the integrity of the stratum corneum, which is especially important to protect against dry skin in winter.
Since nutrients are most potent when they come from food, experts advise that you include the following in your diet:-
Omega 3 fatty acids:- Omega 3 fatty acids keep the skin barrier more flexible and more durable to withstand outside stresses.
Protein:- Eating protein helps the body repair and build tissue.
It also provides amino acids that contribute to the production of the three types of protein in the skin:
These proteins are so essential for rebuilding skin tissues.
Minerals:- Zinc, selenium, and copper all help support skin health. “Zinc is important to immune function in the skin. It helps protect against damage due to sun overexposure and it helps with wound healing”.
Selenium fights inflammation. And copper supports the production of collagen.”
Vitamins:- There are the following vitamins that can help to get rid of dry skin;-
- Vitamin A:- This important vitamin fights the inflammation that can lead to dry skin in winter.
- Vitamin C:- This vitamin can protect skin against UV light and help make collagen. “Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. It intercepts free radicals (molecules that damage cell membranes and DNA) and gets rid of them before they do any skin damage. And there is some evidence that vitamin C can affect the tightness of the skin.
- Vitamin E:- Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and the inflammation that results from free radicals. “But it protects fats in the skin better than vitamin C can, which helps keep moisture in the skin,”
Home remedies for dry skin
There are the following home remedies for dry skin that can be helpful to get rid of dry skin:
Rose water for dry skin
Rose water soothes and moisturizes skin while balancing ph levels making it a perfect choice for dry skin.
In case your skin gets dry and itching dabbing a bit of rose water will gently soothe the area, minimizing irritation and moisturizing skin.
Ways to use Rose water:- Add plain rose water to a spray bottle and use it on your skin throughout the day by spritzing it on the affected area.
Honey for dry skin
Honey is a natural humectant and deeply moisturizes skin. Apart from moisturizing, it also has anti-inflammatory properties which help in calming irritation and redness or any other skin inflammation. It also helps effectively brighten skin and lend a radiant glow.
Ways to use honey:- Apply directly on affected areas and wash off after 15 minutes.
Avocado oil cure for dry skin
Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are also loaded with essential vitamins.
Avocado oil is thick and nourishing and gets absorbed into the skin very easily as well. It makes for a great option to treat dry skin as a natural moisturizer.
This will also help with reducing the signs of aging.
Ways to use avocado oil:- This oil can be applied directly to your face and body.
Rice water remedy for dry skin
Rice water is one of the best natural skin ingredients out there to treat dry skin. The Japanese used it in their beauty routines for centuries.
It balances the pH levels of the skin and helps retain moisture while brightening skin, removing dullness, moisturizing, and fighting signs of aging.
It can be used as a skin toner for your face and body which will help soothe and moisturize dry and itchy skin.
When you wash your rice, save the water and apply it to your skin with a cotton ball.
Ways to use rice water:- Mix 2 parts rice water with 1 part rose water and use it as a face mist.
Aloe vera as a Dry skin solution
Aloe vera suits all skin types including dry sensitive skin. It hydrates skin and prevents breakouts. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals that improve skin health.
Scrape the gel of one aloe vera leaf and mash it up to a paste.
Store this gel in an airtight glass jar and refrigerate it if you like.
Apply it to your skin directly and let it sit for 30 minutes, after which it can be rinsed off with water.
Ways to use Aloe Vera:- Make a serum using Aloe Vera, carrier oil, and some essential oils. You can use essential oils manually.