Causes of Dry Skin and How to Treat It

Dry skin is a condition that causes a person to experience scaling, cracking, and itching. It may occur due to various reasons. For instance, you could have dry skin naturally. However, dry skin can occur even in people with oily skin as they can develop dry skin once in a while.

Any part of the body can be affected by dry skin, but the most commonly affected body parts are the legs, arms, and hands. A lifestyle change and certain over-the-counter creams can treat the condition in most people. If you have dry skin and try these but still experience the symptoms, it is a good time to speak t a doctor.

Other habits that may cause dryness of the hands are using hand sanitiser and washing hands too often. If you have to wash your hands frequently, it is advisable to have a moisturiser to apply after each wash.

Types of dry skin

Dry skin can be caused by certain chemicals, dry weather conditions, or hot water. The condition can also result from certain medical conditions. The medical term for dehydrated skin is dermatitis, and there is more than one type of dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis comes about when the skin responds to something that it touches which causes localised swelling.

Irritant contact dermatitis – This can develop when the skin is exposed to a chemical agent that affects it, for instance, bleach.

Allergic contact dermatitis – This can occur when your skin is exposed to something that you are allergic to.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This condition develops when the skin produces excess oil. The results are a red scaly rash that mostly affects the scalp. It is common in infants.

Atopic dermatitis

This condition is also referred to as eczema and is chronic. The symptoms are dry scaly patches that appear on the skin. The condition is common in young children.

Apart from these, conditions such as type 2 diabetes and psoriasis can cause the skin to become too dry.

Is dry skin normal?

The simple answer to this question is yes. It is not uncommon for the skin to get dry as one becomes older. Nearly everyone over the age of sixty struggles with certain types of dry skin.

What causes dry skin?

Dry skin develops when the skin loses water too fast and becomes dehydrated. It is normal for the skin to lose a small amount of water, but some things increase the risk of your skin losing water. The Sun can cause this when your skin is exposed for long periods of time without any sun cream or after sun lotion.

Risk factors for dry skin

Note that dry skin can affect anyone, however, some risk factors that raise the chances of developing the condition are;

*Age – Older adults are more likely to have dry skin compared to younger people. The skin produces less oil as it ages, which raises the risk of getting dry skin.

*Medical history – If you have experienced allergic conditions in your family, you have a higher chance of experiencing eczema.

*Season – Dry skin is often experienced by many when the humidity levels are low, which means that winter and fall months could cause dry skin.

*Bathing habits – Bathing with very hot water increases the chances of getting dry skin.

Severe and chronic dry skin

Some people may have severely dry skin where the skin becomes irritated, flaky, or inflamed. It can be hard to treat the condition.

Causes of chronic dry skin

  • The causes and risk factors for severe/chronic dry skin are;
  • Age
  • Anorexia
  • diabetes, kidney disease, or thyroid disease
  • vitamin deficiency
  • chemotherapy.