Dry skin is not a health problem but rather a type of skin. Even the people with normal skin type may experience dryness of the skin, especially in the areas of lower legs, arms, sides of the abdomen and thighs. Dry skin often feels tight and slightly painful; it may look dull, red and even flaky. The itchiness that usually accompanies dry skin is possibly the most annoying of all symptoms and may even lead to other unpleasant skin conditions if left untreated. However, it is important to understand that dry skin is not a condition or disease itself, but rather a phenomenon caused by various environmental conditions and lifestyle habits.
Causes of dry skin
In most cases, dryness of the skin is just a superficial problem caused by itchy clothing, harsh soaps, hot showers or failure to use moisturizers. Less frequently, dry skin occurs with other medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, psoriasis, or as a side effect of different medications used in the treatment of these conditions. Whatever is the case, dry skin develops when the natural lipids, produced by the healthy skin, are stripped away leaving the skin unprotected. These natural lipids have an important role to keep in moisture and leave the skin soft and supple. In most cases, the natural protective barrier is removed by environmental factors, and less frequently, it occurs as a result of genetic predisposition or other medical disease. If left untreated, dry skin can lead to dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the skin that sometimes appears with swelling and infection.
Improving the condition of dry skin
Many easy caring routines can improve the appearance and feel of dry skin. The most important thing is to focus on keeping baths and showers short while using just warm water. Hot water is hazardous for dry skin, especially in combination with soaps and baths. It is recommended to use as little soap as possible, and limit its use to face, armpits and genital area. Mild cleansers and soaps should be used instead of the classic ones, which are more harsh. Individuals with dry skin should be very mild and avoid rubbing the skin with the towel. Any excessive moisture should be removed by gentle patting. After the shower or bat, people with dry skin should use bath oils and moisturizers and apply them on damp skin. It is important to avoid moisturizers containing alcohol. Drinking a lot of water can also improve the look and feel of the skin, and alleviate some of the internal causes of skin dryness.