Dry skin

Dry skin aging

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of dry skin

Different parts of the body get adversely affected due to seasonal changes, climatic variations and specific physiological reactions within the body. This effect is most prominent in the skin and can cause different types of skin disorders. Skin diseases caused due to dry skin are especially evident in a few countries having cold and dry climatic conditions.

 

What is dry skin?

Dry skin cracked heelsXerosis Cutis, more commonly known as “dry skin” is a skin condition in which the skin of limbs, abdomen, and scalp become dry, itchy and reddish due to age, climate or other factors.

It is usually characterized by scales (flakes) and visible cracks (fissures) in the skin. Dry skin conditions might become severe and can result in skin diseases. Dry skin is a very common occurrence that is observed mainly in teens and adults and is triggered by several factors.

 

Causes of dry skin

Dry skin is a major health issue and is usually an outcome of several etiological factors. The most commonly studied causes of dry skin are as follows:

  • Seasonal changes, especially during winter, make the skin cracked and peeled. This occurs due to a marked temperature difference between the cold air outside and the warm body fluids inside, which causes significant loss of moisture from the body. In extreme conditions, dry skin is followed by skin irritation and inflammation.
  • Frequent bathing with hard soaps (which lacks moisture) can cause damage to the skin and make the skin permanently dry.
  • Hot showers or steam baths can rob the skin moisture and cause dry skin conditions
  • Excessive scrubbing or cleansing of the skin can lead to damage of the keratin layer, causing dry skin
  • Unprotected exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiations) can make the skin abnormally dry
  • Exposure of the skin to artificial dry air (from hair dryers) can cause dry skin
  • Limited intake of water leads to a lack of cellular fluids. This leads to dehydration that in turn causes dry skin.
  • Frequent use of drugs containing Acetoxyl or Benzol Peroxide dries up the epithelial tissues and causes dry skin
  • Existing skin conditions like eczema, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis or rosacea can trigger dry skin conditions
  • Dry skin can result after some viral infections causing fever and flu, which leads to loss of water from the body
  • Smoking
  • Excessive stress can lead to dry skin
  • Damaged tissues caused by burns or blisters can result in dry skin
  • Dry skin accompanied by flakes, observed in toe and fingernails is caused due to fungal infections
  • Hormonal changes occurring within the female body, especially after menopause can cause dry skin (due to a reduced level of estrogen hormone in the body)
  • Dry skin conditions can occur in the scalp due to dandruff or lice infections
  • Chemicals present in cosmetics or tattoo inks can cause dry skin
  • Pollutants and other toxic agents present in the air of industrial areas cause dry skin
  • Diet deficient in Vitamin D can lead to dry skin conditions (causing toad skin in critical cases).
  • Allergens such as pollen grains can lead to dry skin and rashes.

 

Symptoms of dry skin

Dry skin womanDry skin condition is harmless in the initial stages. But in more advanced stages acute clinical symptoms are manifested. These are described below-

  • Reddish, itchy (pruritus) and scarred skin
  • Formation of scales (due to damaged keratin cells and epithelial tissues)
  • Blister formation and skin inflammation
  • Eruptions that cause pain when touched
  • Leathery texture of skin, accompanied by black patches
  • Burning sensation in the skin
  • Skin gradually turns pale
  • The tightness of the skin, especially after bathing or swimming
  • Folds on the skin (occurs after 40)
  • Cracks and fissures on the skin surface (occurs in advanced stages)

All these conditions collectively give rise to dry skin conditions that might mature and cause serious skin diseases in the future.

 

Types of dry skin conditions

Dry skin aging

Dry skin conditions typically occur due to the absence of moisture in the skin. In more advanced stages, these conditions lead to dermatitis and eczema. The different types of skin conditions are discussed categorically-

Dermatitis: Dermatitis is a typical skin condition that is caused due to dry skin and is manifested as acute skin inflammations along with blister formation and painful itching. It can be roughly classified into two subtypes –

Endogenous Dermatitis: It is also called Atopic Dermatitis and is characterized by dry, itchy and swollen skin with occasional cracks (fissures) that release fluids that gradually accumulate to form the crusty and leathery texture of the skin. It is commonly observed in elbows and knees.

Exogenous Dermatitis: It is also called Contact Dermatitis or Occupational Dermatitis which are caused due to the body’s immune response to irritants (toxic chemicals like carbamates and thiurams) or allergic agents (pollen grains or danders) present in the environment. Contact dermatitis has two subtypes-

  • Contact Urticaria (manifested as red, swollen and itching eruptions at the site of contact)
  • Photocontact Dermatitis (triggered mainly by ultraviolet radiations)

There is yet another form of dermatitis known as Seborrhoeic  Dermatitis which commonly occurs in the scalp, face (nasolabial regions), sternal and presternal regions.

Eczema: Eczema is a chain of inflammatory reactions which originate in the dermis and is characterized by skin inflammation and occasional bleeding. It is of three types-

  • Acute Eczema (red rashes and blisters)
  • Subacute Eczema
  • Chronic Eczema (long-lasting inflamed patches)

 

Genetic Role

Ichthyosis is a dry skin disorder, causing thickened and scaly skin, and is mostly caused due to family history of skin diseases.

 

Treatment and prevention

Dermatitis 

Treatment 

  • Generally, the treatment for dermatitis varies from person-to-person, depending on their symptoms.
  • Corticosteroid creams are prescribed to reduce inflammation and itching.
  • Prescribed creams or lotions that affect the immune system helps in reducing itching and redness.
  • Phototherapy is conducted to help reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Prevention  

  • Moisturize your skin.
  • Do not take long baths or shower.
  • Do not rub your skin.
  • Use mild soaps and gentle cleansers.

Eczema 

Treatment 

  • Corticosteroid creams are prescribed to those who have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (eczema), these creams or lotions help in repairing the skin.
  • In cases were a bacterial infection may be present, antibiotics will be prescribed. These medications can be oral or topical.
  • Medications to control inflammation will be prescribed. These are oral medications that help in reducing the symptoms of the condition.
  • Applying the affected area with corticosteroid creams and wrapping it up in a bandage, is one of the most effective ways to treat eczema.
  • In cases where topic treatment does not work, patients are exposed to controlled levels of natural or artificial light to help reduce the severity of the condition.

Prevention

  • Use moisturizer at least 2 times a day.
  • Do not rub your skin.
  • Use gentle soaps and cleansers.
  • Do not take long showers or baths.

Dry skin 

Treatment 

  • Generally, dry skin is treated with the help of home remedies such as moisturizers, lotions, restricting prolonged hot showers.
  • In cases of psoriasis or dermatitis, doctors may prescribe medication or ointments to treat the symptoms.
  • When the skin tends to develop any cuts or lesions, doctors recommend wet dressing to avoid infections.

Prevention 

  • Do not take long and hot showers.
  • Protect your skin from cold temperatures.
  • Do not use hard soaps.
  • Dab your skin and do not rub it dry.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Use a moisturizing cream, this helps in making the skin soft and gentle.
  • Carry hand cream wherever you go, apply it after you wash your hands. This keeps the hands soft and reduces dryness.
  • Use a cream or lotion which contains oils, this helps in making the skin soft.
Don'ts
  • Rub your face dry, this can irritate the skin and lead to dryness.
  • Use an old razor blade, they make the skin dry.
  • Forget to check your soaps and detergents to understand if they may cause dry skin or not.

 

 

 

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Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Inhale oxygen, exhale worries: The top breathing exercises and how to perform them Performing the breathing exercise is like becoming mindful of how you breathe.  Here is a list of breathing…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm our body? And…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 igm
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgM The Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgM test detects IgM class of antibodies in the blood.The presence of beta-2…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
Crossfit with rope
CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period to achieve muscle…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
18 instant steps to make your jogging routine more powerful Jogging is a form of Aerobic Endurance training which includes running at a slow pace. Jogging is slower…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
complement c4 test
Complement 4 (C4) Test The Complement 4 or C4 test measures the level of the protein in the bloodstream, and is primarily…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
Miracle extract from the root of maca: 10 ways it can help you! Maca root has been used for years in herbal medicine. Today scientific research is unearthing fresh evidence in…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
CEA_test
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test CEA or carcinoembryonic test detects the presence of CEA antigen in your blood mainly & determines the effectiveness…
toxo gondii igm test
Toxo Gondii-IgM Test The toxo gondii IgM test is a blood test that tells the presence or absence of toxoplasmosis IgM…
anti-chlamydia antibody tets
Anti-Chlamydia Antibody -IgG Test Anti-Chlamydia Antibody - IgG test is performed by collection of urine or genital fluids as sample for testing…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Top reasons why you need to pay attention to your vitamin B6 intake Vitamin B6- An essential water-soluble vitamin. Its deficiency leads to physical changes such as sores & glossy tongue…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in its treatment.
free psa test
Free PSA Test The free PSA test is used to detect the level or percentage of free PSA in the body…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
stain blood
Blood in your stool Know the reason for blood in your stool, toilet bowl or tissue and the important steps to take…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This is the main…
piles
Best treatment for piles in Bangalore All you need to know about piles and piles treatment in Bangalore - the types of treatment available,…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
PREGNANCY
Pregnancy During pregnancy, the body undergoes a number of biological and physical changes to accommodate and provide for the…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
Krill Oil: Does the solution to human illnesses really lie at the depths of the ocean? The word "krill" means “small fry of fish” in Norwegian. They are usually the primary food source of…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
Hot cups for detox? Read all about the ancient technique of cupping Did you know inverted hot cups on your back can squeeze out and eject toxins from your body?…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…

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