If your skin feels taut, then you have a dry skin. To understand your skin type better, do not apply a moisturizer for an entire day and if your skin feels tight and parched then you have a dry skin. Dry skin is most common in your lower legs, arms, flanks (sides of the abdomen), and thighs. The symptoms most often associated with dry skin include:
- Cracks in the skin
Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterized by a lack of the appropriate amount of water in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. While dry skin tends to affect males and females equally, older individuals are typically much more prone to dry skin. The skin in elderly individuals tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. Areas such as the arms, hands, and particularly lower legs tend to be more affected by dry skin. Dryness of the skin is affected by the amount of water vapor in the surrounding air, the humidity. Dry skin is also known as xeroderma. Xeroderma is a very common condition. It happens more often in the winter where the cold air outside and the hot air inside creates a low relative humidity. This causes the skin to lose moisture and it may crack and peel. Bathing or hand washing too frequently, especially if one is using harsh soaps, may also contribute to xeroderma. Xeroderma can also be caused by a deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin D, systemic illness, severe sunburn, or some medication. Xeroderma can also be caused by chorine inhibitors. Detergents like washing powder and washing up liquid can also cause xeroderma.
Cause of Dry Skin:
1. Your skin can become dry to the misuse of Moisturizer. If we have a dry skin we would have at least tried a moisturizer if not dozens, but as per the say of experts it is not well utilized by us. Generally one says that do not use a low end product of the cheap products that are available in the drug store. But in fact these products help in maintaining the moisturizer in the body. Not always high end and greasy products with a thick liquid help. You need to get the right type of moisturizer in your hand. The moisturizer should be mild with no perfumes and alcohol and not too strong for people with a dry skin.
2. Dry skin can also be caused with the most common element around us i.e. AIR. Especially during the winter season, the air around us during winter season draws the moisture right out of our skin and this effect has its own name, called “Winter Itch”.
While during the winters outside air dries out our skin, in the inside hot air in the homes also makes our skin dry, in the summers the air-conditions acts in the same manner.
3. Exposure to water, especially hot water can wash away the natural oils that protect your skin. The way to test it, would be if once you are out from a shower and your skin is taut, that is an indication that your skin is becoming dry or is dry.
4. If your skin is dry, the major common issue arise if the user is utilizing a soap. Generally all soaps are harsh and make the skin dry, one should use a soap that acts like a moisturizer. General soap can quickly strip away your skin’s protective oils, and we tend to use way too much of it. While our doctors — and our mothers — always told us to wash our hands frequently, that can also lead to trouble. Ironically, while done in the quest to rid ourselves of germs, excessive hand washing can dry out the skin and cause it to crack and bleed, making infection much more likely. We generally go for harsh soaps, such as deodorant or antibacterial soaps, that generate lots of lather and leave us feeling squeaky clean. The bubbling and lathering from soap removes the oils from the surface of the skin and dries it out completely.
5. There are medicines/drugs also in the market that also make the skin dry and have a side effect. They include:
- High blood pressure drugs, like diuretics
- Retinoid like Retin-A used for acne and for other purposes
If you notice the onset of a dry skin problem after starting a medication, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to help by changing the dose or switching the medication.
6. Usually, dry skin is caused by external factors. But sometimes, it can be a sign of something going on internally, whether it’s a natural physiologic change or an illness. For instance, dry skin often develops when people get older, especially in women. Changes in hormone levels can cause dry skin as we age. As many as 75% of people over the age of 64 have dry skin. Other people, regardless of age, are simply genetically prone to dry skin. A number of medical conditions can result in dry skin. Some of the more common of these medical causes are:
• Skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis. While they usually need direct treatment, careful use of moisturizers often helps.
• Diabetes. Fluctuations in glucose levels can lead to dehydration, and that dries the skin out. Given that diabetes can also slow healing and increase the risk of infections, it’s especially important for people with this condition to keep their skin healthy.
• Hypothyroidism. Low levels of thyroid hormone can reduce the amount of oil produced by your skin. As a result, skin becomes dry and rough and moisturizer is unlikely to help. Hypothyroidism is usually accompanied by other symptoms, like fatigue and weight gain.
• Malnutrition. Not getting the nutrients you need can leave your skin dried out. One possible cause is an eating disorder.
• Other diseases, both minor and serious, can also cause dry skin problems. The best way to treat these cases of dry skin depends on the illness. Sometimes, getting medication for the underlying condition directly will resolve the dry skin. But in other cases, you might still need to follow some of the basic dry skin care tips outlined above. Ask your doctor for advice
Some Dry skin facts:
1. Dry skin is a very common condition that causes small fine flakes and dry patches.
2. Itching is one of the most common symptoms of dry skin.
3. Scratching may be hard to resist.
4. Dry skin is more common in colder winter months and drier climates.
5. The elderly are more prone to dry skin than younger people.
6. Dry skin is more common in individuals with a history of eczema, atopic dermatitis, allergies, or asthma.
7. Dry skin may rarely be a side effect of medications.
8. Dry skin is more common in those with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
9. Repeat itch-scratch cycles may lead to skin thickening and darkening.
10. Possible complications include rashes, eczema, and bacterial infections.
11. Extremely dry skin can cause cracks and breaks on the skin.
12. Medications including topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines can help ease itching.
13. Secondary infections may result from scratches and skin breakdown.
14. Topical or oral antibiotics may be necessary for secondarily infected dry skin.
15. Several home remedies, such as decreasing bathing frequency and lubricating the skin with thick moisturizers after showers, can help control and prevent dry skin.
Remedies for Dry Skin:
1. Application of Olive Oil:
When it comes to strategies for natural dry skin care, It instantly grooms dry cuticles, works wonders on hands and elbows, removes makeup, and soothes and conditions itchy, dry skin all over the body. ”When your skin feels extra parched, you can dab a thin layer of organic extra-virgin olive oil under your moisturizer for an extra dose of antioxidants and good fatty acids.”
2. Natural exfoliants like yogurt, papaya, and pumpkin.
You can find plenty of options for natural dry skin care in your kitchen, or in the produce and diary aisles of your supermarket. Yogurt, especially the plain Greek variety, makes an excellent cleanser with a mild exfoliating action that will remove dry skin and leave you feeling refreshed and comfortable. It’s a particularly safe exfoliate for very dry skin because it exfoliates using lactic acid, not scrubbing granules.
To add some oomph, try making Pecnikov’s Greek Yogurt and Papaya Enzyme Conditioning Mask for Face & Décolleté: Mix ½ cup of Greek yogurt with 3 tablespoons of mashed-up papaya, and apply to skin.
Pumpkin enzymes are at play in her Pumpkin & Cinnamon Mask for Face and Body: mix one can of pumpkin and a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
3. Make a Homicide Skin Scrub:
Economical and effective, a combo of sugar and any oil you may have around the kitchen makes a rich, nourishing body scrub for dry skin.
Simply mix equal amounts of fine brown sugar and oil, and rub on using light circular motions.
For an extra dose of vitamins and minerals, add a tablespoon of honey. Pecnikov adds lemon juice to her recipe. Make sure to shower thoroughly afterwards.
4. Harvest the healing power of honey.
Honey is a time-tested cure for chapped, cracked lips.
Apply a little organic honey in the evening and wake up to smooth, yummy lips. This trick also works to soothe cracked heels and rough elbows.
5. Try natural remedies for dry hair.
For dry hair, mix one egg yolk and a tablespoon of liquid castile soap to shampoo your hair and condition your itchy scalp. Egg yolks, when massaged into the hair and left to work for 5 to 6 minutes, may strengthen the scalp, and some believe it prevents hair loss, says Gabriel.
Or try Pecnikov’s Hydrating Mask for Dry Overworked Hair: Mix 1 avocado with 2 tablespoons each of lightly heated rapeseed and olive oil. Massage into hair, and put plastic shower cap on head to retain heat and moisture. Leave on hair for 15 minutes. Double the ingredients for longer hair.
6. And don’t forget to treat your skin from the inside out.
A diet rich in magnesium, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, and beta-carotene naturally feeds your skin from inside and makes it less prone to dryness. She recommends feeding your skin with a meal plan that includes dark chocolate, salmon, and other fatty fish, oranges, mango, and carrots.
Some more typical home remedies for dry skin are as follows:
1. Create a puree of 1 banana and 1 papaya, peach or avocado and apply to skin. Leave on for at least 20 minutes then clean with warm water, followed by a moisturizer of normal margarine or natural vegetable oil.
2. Mix up half-teaspoon honey with the yolk of an egg and one tablespoon dried out milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply, remove after 20-25 minutes with water. One of the good home remedies for dry skin.
3. Grated cucumber can be applied all over the face and the juice is good for the skin just around the eyes too. Helps to make tighter the skin and has a cooling and refreshing result.
4. Apply normal mayonnaise, either homemade or from natural foods store. Massage into skin, leave on for 15-20 minutes, and wash thoroughly with warm water. One of the best home remedies for dry skin.
5. Make a pulp of raw papaya and apply on effected area. Papaya has a purification action, softening dead skin cells and aiding their removal