Natural leather feels soft and supple due to the amount of water. For the skin to feel soft, supple and “natural”, the top layer must have at least 10% water – ideally between 20% and 35%.
Sebum is a complex mixture of fatty acids, sugars, wax and other natural chemicals that form a barrier against water vapour. The external layer helps to protect of skin from losing water & the CBCS gland makes an oily substance called sebum.
If there is not enough sebum in the skin, it loses water and dries. If environmental factors cause excess water vapor and weaken the sebum’s ability to prevent water loss, the skin will shine and crack.
Dry skin, also known as Xerosis, is a very common problem in modern societies, affecting people of all ages, even newborns. In the United States, most dry skin conditions are associated with one or more factors:
Reduction of sebum production: This is often a factor in the elderly, as the number and activity of sebaceous glands in the skin decrease with age.
Damage to existing sebum: This is usually due to lifestyle factors, such as excessive bathing or bathing, excessive scrubbing of the skin during washing, or harsh soap that dissolves the sebum’s protective layer. In some cases, the result is dry skin all over the body, especially in school athletes who show up several times a day. In other cases, dry skin only affects the hands – for example, health care workers, dieters, household cleaners, diapers mothers and others who often wash hands.
Environmental conditions that increase water loss. Extreme environmental conditions can remove the skin’s natural protective barrier, causing water vapor fever. This is an important cause of dry skin among people who live in a sun-soaked desert environment, especially in some parts of the southwestern United States. Excessive dry indoor air can also cause dry skin and “itching in the winter” in North America, especially in those who use forced-air heating. In outdoor athletes, excessive exposure to air and sun can cause skin rashes, leaving the surface feeling itchy and dry. Even swimming can get dry skin because the chemical content of the water in the pond actually draws moisture from the skin.
Dry skin is a common problem in people with diabetes or skin allergies (atopic dermatitis). More often than not, it can also be a symptom of hypothyroidism, kidney impairment or inflammatory syndrome. In addition, dry skin is sometimes produced as a side effect of medicines, especially acne products that are applied to the skin.
Sometimes, the only sign of dry skin is itching, though most people will also notice that their skin is mild and wrinkled. In the winter months, dry skin symptoms can worsen, especially if you only spend a lot of time indoors, where the hot air is dry.
In most cases of uncomplicated dry skin, you can diagnose yourself. Get started by checking your skincare routine. Do you often bathe long stools? Do you shower several times a day or wash your skin with harsh skin? Do you have a job that requires frequent washing?
Then, assess your environmental risk factors, both indoors and outdoors. Do you live in a dry, desert climate? Do you usually spend your winter months indoors, in a warm room with no humidifier? When you go out, do you protect your skin with proper clothing or sunscreen on exposed surfaces? When was the last time you used a moisturizer?
Once you start properly taking care of your skin, the dry skin’s glow and itching will improve in a week or two. In many cases, a good moisturizer will start to soften and supple your skin in minutes.
Without proper care, dry skin can become a chronic problem that can lead to thickening, cracking and bleeding of the skin. This can increase the risk of infection in your skin.
You can help prevent dry skin by taking these steps.
- Bath with comfortable warm (not hot) water, use no lost soap that contains either excess grease or glycerin. Avoid cleaning.
- If you are an athlete, take a quick shower after exercise or sports. Use warm water, and bring your mild soap, as heavy-duty “gym” brands can be very strong.
- When you finish your bath or shower, pat dry and apply a moisturizer immediately. It is easy to use without any moisturizing lotion and will help maintain skin moisture.
- Cover skin exposed when you play outside. If you can’t wear protective clothing due to hot weather or sports regulations, apply sunscreen with a moisturizer. If you are a swimmer and suffer from dry skin, apply a light layer of petroleum jelly before entering the pool. Shower When you’re out of the pool, pat dry, and immediately apply a moisturizer.
- If your indoor air is dry during the winter months, use a humidifier to increase humidity levels.
- During the day, apply a moisturizer that contains at least one ingredient: glycerin, urea, glutamic acid, sorbitol, lactic acid, lactate salt or alpha hydroxy acid.
- Avoid over-utilizing antiperspirants and perfumes, as these products can dry out the skin.
If you have a common cause of dry skin, try the tips in the Prevention section. If you have dry skin, contact your doctor’s office for advice.
When to Call a Professional
- Call your primary care doctor or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin problems) if you have one.
- Dry skin that does not respond to the treatment of intolerance
- Severe itching that interferes with your ability to work or sleep
- Dry skin that breaks and bleeds, or becomes red, swollen and painful
Overall, the diagnosis is excellent. You can often prevent dry skin by making some simple lifestyle changes. If dry skin is ready, there are many calm and effective treatments available. Most can be purchased without a prescription.