Dry skin can be caused by a wide variety of factors, and can even be merely a symptom of a more severe skin condition. It can also be indicative of a patient’s general health and well-being, as it can point to other conditions such as dehydration. Besides marring the general appearance of the skin, dry skin can also be itchy and cause patients discomfort. There are many methods of treating dry skin, from addressing the root causes to immediate relief of the symptoms.
Dry skin will look and feel rough and may also have a host of other symptoms, such as redness, itching, or flaking skin. More severe cases of dry skin can also lead to scaly feeling skin, which can often peel, cracking, or even deep fissures in the skin which may bleed. The skin may even form sores and infections from constant scratching. If these cases are left untreated, or don’t respond to home remedies, the integrity of the skin to protect the rest of the body from the environment and invading bacteria will be greatly compromised. In the most serious cases, patients may even develop cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin’s underlying tissues.
Patients of all ages and genders can be afflicted with dry skin. However, it is most common in mature skin, as the skin begins to lose its natural hydration. Dry skin is often a temporary problem that is caused by environmental factors. Common factors that cause temporary dry skin are cold weather, dry climates, and humidity decreasing devices such as central heating and cooling. Other irritants to the skin include frequent bathing and showering, especially in hot water, and using products with harsh detergents and fragrances, such as laundry detergents and skin or hair products. Sometimes, dry skin can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, or even a thyroid disorder.
It is very often easy to treat dry skin. First, patients must eliminate environmental factors that contribute to dry skin. This may mean switching skin and hair care products to non-irritating formulas, using a humidifier, or changing bathing patterns such as the frequency, length, and temperature of showers and baths. The majority of patients with dry skin will find that their symptoms are greatly reduced after just these measures. There are also over the counter topical moisturizers and creams that contain lactic acid and urea; these are also very effective in reducing dry skin. For patients with more severe cases, or for whom these treatments have not helped, dermatologists may prescribe topical corticosteroids to help reduce skin inflammation.
If you are suffering from constant dry skin that has not responded to at home remedies, or has developed into sores, cracks, or fissures, please come see us at Dyson Dermatology. We are one of the top skin doctors in Tucson, Arizona, and can help you with your dry skin treatment.