Dry skin is marked by itching, scaling, and cracking of the skin and is quite uncomfortable. The condition can occur due to a wide variety of reasons. Some people have dry skin naturally while some others who have oily skin can develop dry skin from time to time. The condition can affect any part of your body including the arms, hands, and legs. Over-the-counter moisturises and lifestyle changes can treat the condition in many cases. Using hand sanitisers and washing your hands frequently can cause your hands to become dry. Each time you wash your hands, it can be helpful to apply moisturiser. If these treatments don’t work, you should consult a qualified dermatologist.
Types Of Dry Skin
Certain chemicals, hot water, and exposure to dry weather can cause your skin to dry out. Here are some medical conditions that can cause dry skin:
Dermatitis is when your skin is extremely dry. There are several types of dermatitis including:
. Contact Dermatitis – This condition occurs when the skin reacts to something you touch. It causes localised inflammation. On the other hand, irritant contact dermatitis is when the skin is exposed to an irritating chemical agent (bleach). Allergic contact dermatitis is when the skin is exposed to a substance that you are already allergic to like nickel.
. Seborrheic Dermatitis – This condition occurs when the skin produces too much skin oil. It can lead to a red and scaly rash on the scalp. This condition is more common in infants.
. Atopic Dermatitis – This condition is also known as eczema. It is a chronic condition that can lead to dry scaly patches on the skin, which is common among young kids.
Conditions like type-2 diabetes and psoriasis also cause your skin to dry out over time.
Is Dry Skin Normal?
Yes, as a person gets older, it is normal for his or her skin to become dryer over time. Nearly every person struggles with dry skin by they reach the age of 60 years.
What Causes Dry Skin?
The skin loses water very quickly and becomes dehydrated. This condition can lead to dry skin. In fact, there are a few things that increase the risk of your skin losing water too quickly.
Risk Factors For Dry Skin
Dry skin affects almost any individual. The risk factors that raise the chances of developing dry skin include:
. Age – Older adults can easily develop dry skin because as a person ages, the pores will produce less skin oil. This will raise your risk of dry skin.
. Medical History – If you have a history of allergic contact dermatitis or eczema, you are more likely to experience these conditions.
. Season – Dry skin is common during the winter and fall months. That is because humidity levels are relatively low in these months. Higher levels of humidity in the summer months help prevent your skin from drying out.
. Bathing Habits – Washing with very hot water and taking frequent baths will raise your risk of dry skin.
Severe & Chronic Dry Skin
Some people will experience severe dry skin. Their skin can be irritated, flaky, or inflamed more often than normal. This condition can be hard to treat at times.
What Causes Chronic Dry Skin?
There are many causes and risk factors that affect severe or chronic dry skin including:
. Old age
. Vitamin deficiency
. Thyroid disease
. Type-2 diabetes
. Kidney disease
. Skin barrier dysfunction