What Is Dry Skin?
Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterised by a lack of water in the uppermost layer of the skin, the epidermis.
Since there are a number of different factors which may cause dry skin it is important to be aware of which triggers affect your skin in order to prevent and best manage them if they occur.
Dry skin can appear dull, flaky and in severe cases can crack. Dry skin can affect most people at some point during their life but the good news is that this condition is manageable and there are many options available which can be used to tackle your dry skin.
Symptoms of Dry Skin
The following symptoms are common amongst people experiencing dry skin:
- Rough or dry patches of skin
- Sensitive skin
- Red skin
- Flaky skin
- Tight skin
- Itchy skin
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin is often triggered by low humidity in the surrounding air, so it’s more common in colder months and drier climates. However, there may be other triggers including:
- Taking long, hot showers or baths
- Hormonal changes
- Over-washing or scrubbing your skin
- Using strong soaps, detergents, sanitizers or alcohol-based cleaning agents
Most common dry skin areas are:
The lower legs
How Can I Help Prevent And Manage Dry Skin?
When your skin loses moisture, it becomes drier, more sensitive and prone to irritation and flaking. Untreated dry skin can become red and irritated, but there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent and manage symptoms of dry skin.
Since dry skin tends to be caused by external factors, products such as creams and lotions can help to control dry skin flare-ups.
Managing Dry Skin
- Moisturise frequently to lock in moisture and prevent further loss of moisture from the top layer of the skin
- Drink plenty of water
- Use body washes specially designed for dry skin
- Try patting your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a towel
- Apply moisturiser immediately after a bath or shower, to lock moisture into your skin
Everyday objects such as soap may dry out the top layer of the skin if you suffer from dry skin avoiding the following may help:
How to Prevent Dry Skin
- Irritants such as solvents and cleaning products
- Wool clothing
- Strong detergents and softeners used to wash clothes
- Antibacterial gels which contain alcohol
- Harsh body scrubs
- Taking long and hot showers or baths
Eat Well To Keep Your Skin In Top Condition
Your skin’s condition may also benefit from a healthy diet including foods which are naturally rich in Omega 3:
- Safflower oil