‘Dry skin’ is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin.

Dry Skin

‘Dry’ is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. This leads to an impaired barrier function.

Significantly more women suffer from dry skin than men and all skin gets dryer as it ages.

Exposure to dry weather conditions, hot water, and certain chemicals can cause your skin to dry out. Dry skin can affect any part of your body. It commonly affects hands, arms, and legs.

Dry skin has

  • scaling or flakiness in patches
  • a feeling of tightness 
  • a rough and blotchy appearance
  • itchiness

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External factors that cause dry skin include over-washing with harsh soaps, overuse of sanitizers and lipid solvents (alcohol), cold temperature, low humidity.

One of the most common factors causing dry skin is frequent application of harsh soaps. 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 dryer skin. Excessive use of soaps can worsen dry skin.

While internal factors include overall health, age, genetics, family history, and a personal history of other medical conditions likeatopic dermatitis. In particular those with certain thyroid diseases are more prone to developing dry skin.

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Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and relieve dry skin. Try to:

  1. avoid using hot water to bathe or shower
  2. shower every other day instead of every day
  3. keep your shower time to less than 10 minutes
  4. use a moisturizing soap when you bathe or shower
  5. apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering
  6. pat, rather than rub, wet skin dry with a soft towel
  7. avoid itching or scrubbing dry skin patches
  8. use a humidifier in your home
  9. drink plenty of water

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