Heathy Living: What Causes Dry Skin and How to Treat It
Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition marked by scaling, itching, and cracking. It can occur for a variety of reasons. You might have naturally dry skin.
But even if your skin tends to be oily, you can develop dry skin from time to time.
Dry skin can affect any part of your body. It commonly affects hands, arms, and legs. In many cases, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers may be all you need to treat it. If those treatments aren’t enough, you should contact your doctor.
If you experience occasional dry skin, you can likely prevent and treat it using simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers. If you develop severe dry skin, make an appointment with your doctor.
If left untreated, dermatitis can get worse. Early treatment will help you to feel comfortable sooner. It will also lower your risk of complications, such as open wounds from scratching and skin infections.
Your doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your dry skin.
In some cases, they may refer you to a skin specialist or dermatologist. Along with lifestyle remedies, they may recommend over-the-counter or prescription ointments, creams, or lotions to treat your symptoms.
Dry skin can affect anyone. But some risk factors raise your chances of developing dry skin, including:
Age. Older adults are more likely to develop dry skin. As you age, your pores naturally produce less oil, raising your risk of dry skin.
Medical history. You’re more likely to experience eczema or allergic contact dermatitis if you have a history of these conditions or other allergic diseases in your family.
Season. Dry skin is more common during the fall and winter months, when humidity levels are relatively low. In the summer, higher levels of humidity help stop your skin from drying out.
Bathing habits. Taking frequent baths or washing with very hot water raises your risk of dry skin.
Exposure to dry weather conditions, hot water, and certain chemicals can cause your skin to dry out. Dry skin can also result from underlying medical conditions.
Dermatitis is the medical term for extremely dry skin.