Dry skin is a common skin condition that can affect anyone at any age. There are many causes of dry skin ranging from environmental factors to pathological diseases that can present with dry skin.
- Part of the aging process in which dryness of the skin happens due to decreased oil production by the oil glands.
- Environmental factors: exposure to hot or cold weather especially when there is low humidity.
- Showering or bathing excessively in hot water.
- Some soaps and detergents and clothes may lead to dry skin.
- Central heating and air conditioning may contribute to dry skin.
- Pathological conditions such as in hypothyroidism (decrease function of the thyroid gland), diabetes and others.
- Certain drugs may cause dry skin.
- Inherited disorder.
Features of dry skin:
- Itchy, dry, and irritated.
- Red and painful.
- Scaling, eczematous or fissuring.
- Bleeding from the fissures.
- Use emollients, moisturizing creams or ointments that don’t contain alcohol.
- Try to recognize and avoid factors that precipitate skin dryness.
- Using showers is better than baths, using warm water instead of hot water.
- Use skin cleansers that are mild and don’t contain soap.
- Keeping the body hydrated (drink water).
- Avoid irritants that may worsen the symptoms.
- In winter, wear protective clothes such as hats and gloves to protect the skin.
- Medications may be prescribed in some cases such as topical steroids.
This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.