If your skin feels tight and is flaky and itchy, you may have dry skin. It can appear anywhere on the body, particularly on areas constantly exposed to external factors like the hands and feet. It can also occur on the face, especially around the eyes, cheeks, jowls, and lips. This can then give the skin a tired and unhealthy appearance.
What’s up with dry skin?
Dryness occurs when there is a lack of sebum or oil in the skin. It is not usually a serious medical condition, but it can be uncomfortable. Dry skin can also make you look older, especially when it affects the facial skin. In most cases, it can occur due to low moisture in the air, hot or cold weather, hot showers, and the use of harsh soaps.
Here are the symptoms associated with dry skin:
- Fine lines or cracks
What causes dry skin?
A number of factors can cause and trigger dry skin. These include environmental causes, inappropriate skincare, and certain medications. Here are the potential causes of skin dryness:
- Harsh weather conditions – Hot and cold air, high winds, and low humidity can strip the skin of essential moisture. They can also disrupt the skin’s barrier and enable moisture to escape.
- Inappropriate skincare routine – This includes frequent washing and the use of harsh soap, which can remove natural skin lipids. You should also know that some soaps and detergents are designed not just to remove dirt and sweat, but also oils from the skin.
- Hot baths and showers – Dry and itchy skin can be due to regular hot baths and showers. The same is also true for frequent swimming in a chlorinated pool, as chlorine can remove protective oils and proteins in the skin.
- Certain medications – Dryness is often a side effect of certain medications like diuretics, cholesterol medication, and some cancer drugs. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider to find out if your medication can result in dry skin.
- Genetics – Dry skin can run in the family and may be inherited. If your parents or grandparents have dry skin, it is likely that you may also struggle with it.
- Age – The production of lipids declines as we age, as well as the skin’s water content. This can result in dry skin, which also contributes to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, and other signs of skin aging.
Some factors can also affect or worsen the severity of dry skin. These include:
- Sun exposure – Prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV rays can contribute to dry skin.
- Smoking – The toxins in the smoke dry out the skin easily and speed up premature aging.
- Dehydration – This reduces the body’s moisture supply. Elderly people are more susceptible to dehydration due to decreased sensation of thirst.
- Occupational hazards – Some jobs, particularly those that require the use of detergents or chemicals, or working in hot and cold conditions can increase the risk of having dry skin.
How can we help?
Here at Cutis Laser Clinics, we understand how dryness can negatively affect the quality and overall look of your skin. We provide a range of medical aesthetic treatments that can bring back moisture to your skin, giving it a healthy and glowing appearance. We also offer product and care recommendations to improve or treat skin dryness.
Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.