Xerosis or dry skin is not a serious skin disorder but
it can get quite uncomfortable and also visually it is not a sight that is appealing.
Dry skin occurs when plump cells, shrivel thus creating wrinkles or fine lines. Serious
dry skin disorders like ichthyosis are very irritating and such is the disfigurement of the skin,
that many people experience psychological distress.
Many people experience psychological distress.
The proverbial silver linking in terms of dry skin is that its cause is directly related to
various environmental factors. These can include:
Exposure to severe hot or cold weather
Low humidity levels in the atmosphere
Spending too much time in air-conditioning, or central heating
Signs of Dry Skin
A person’s skin is driest on the arms, and feet and many people just experience dry
skin during winters. Moreover the signs of dry skin are dependant on age, health,
living locale and conditions, and the amount of time spent indoors and outdoors amongst other
things. Some of the signs of dry skin are:
Shrunken Dehydrated Skin
Cracks or Lines on the Skin
Redness and Itchiness of the Skin
Scaling, Flaking, or Peeling of the Skin
As aforementioned, dry skin is, typically, caused by exposure to the environment.
Hence, the various means to prevent dry skin deal with avoiding various exposures:
Avoid venturing out in extreme weather conditions, whether winter,
summer, or rain. If you do go out, then take adequate protection for your skin
and apply the necessary ointments.
Frequent bathing can also lead to dry skin and hence must be avoided.
Other preventive measures are:
Avoid using harsh soaps or detergents.
Moreover various deodorants and anti-bacterial soaps can also have a damaging
effect on the skin.
Large scale intake of drugs or alcohol also leads to dry skin.
The effect is very visible and hence limit your intake of such substances
Various prescription drugs like diuretics, antihistamines etc cause the dry
skin as their side effects. If such is the case, contact your doctor immediately
Drink as much water as you can. This will make your skin elastic and not
loose its freshness.
At times, dry skin is a resultant of various other skin conditions like Psoriasis or
disorders like Thyroid dysfunction etc. In such cases, only a prescription medication
for these disorders will help in getting rid of dry skin.
Self Care is the most popular ways of treating dry skin. Use plenty of moisturizers
and avoid the various factors that cause dry skin.
If you have a serious dry skin condition, then a dermatologist might prescribe
various prescription creams that contain urea or lactic acid or a combination of both.
Various ointments can also be prescribed depending on the seriousness of your
At times, dry skin leads to a condition known as Dermatitis. In this case you are
prescribed lotions containing hydrocortisone. Moreover, if your skin develops cracks,
then the doctor may ask you to use wet dressing that come with mildly astringent
properties. This is for prevention of infection and reduction of secretions.
Dry Skin disorders are common, but they must be given due care and attention.
If allowed to fester, they might lead to more serious problems.