Breathing life into your dry skin

Breathing life into your dry skin

Breathing life into your dry skin

Also known as xeroderma, dry skin is a medical condition where the outermost part of your skin, the epidermis loses hydration and dries. This condition occurs in both male and female, though old aged people are more prone to it due to the lack of natural oils and hydrants in their skin. The environment also affects the nature of the skin, especially the humidity level. Dry skin could be mild or severe. The treatment for your skin will depend upon the symptoms and their intensity. The symptoms of dry skin include red patches, itching and tightness of skin. Dry skin most commonly occurs in forearms, lower legs and hands. Xeroderma can be diagnosed through physical examination by a dermatologist. A biopsy is also recommended to confirm the diagnosis and suggest a proper treatment plan.


There can be both internal and external factors leading to dry skin. Amongst external factors, the weather in your environment is most important. People living in low temperatures coupled with reduced humidity are more likely to suffer from dry skin. In cold weather, people tend to use air heaters which suck out the moisture and induce dryness into your skin. Does your work require you to continually wash hands using strong soaps? Alcohol present in cleaning materials like hand sanitizer and soap can rob your skin of its moisture easily. You might also be taking baths too intensely for your skin; these can remove the natural oils on your skin. The type of soap you use will also decide the type of your skin. Check out treatment options below and get an idea of a soap best for your dry skin! Your clothing might suffocate your skin and make it dry. Often, wool and synthetic clothing irritates the skin.

When it comes to internal determinants, your lifestyle is the first concern. Are you getting enough sleep (approximately 8 hours)? Do you eat a balanced diet? Are you exercising properly?

Does your family have a history of dry skin issues? If yes, then visit your doctor and get a medicine conducive to your condition. Taking medications can also affect your skin. Medicines prescribed for hypertension, acne and cholesterol might negatively affect your skin.

Your skin is an indicator of your overall health. Dr. Anne Kleinsmith, a dermatologist at William Beaumont Hospital, says that acanthosis nigricans is a condition in which the skin around your neck changes in complexion and texture. This is commonly linked to diabetes.


Here are 8 tips to keep the dryness of your skin under control:

TIP 1 –
Apply an emollient daily; an emollient will prevent the vaporization of the water on your skin. Since most of the cases of dry skin are caused due to external factors, the application of cream, lotion and oil regularly can significantly reduce the dry skin. Start with a light moisturizing cream like Lubriderm lotion, Cetaphil lotion and AmLactin 12% lotion. If you are suffering from severe dry skin, then shift to strong moisturizers like Vaseline and Aquaphor.

TIP 2 –
You can also try out some topical steroid creams. Apply only mild creams to underarm, groin and face.  Using strong steroid creams frequently can result in thinning of skin, stretch marks and skin breaking. Do not apply or take any medication without visit and appropriate prescription from your physician.  Mild steroid creams include Pramosone (2.5% cream) and strong steroid creams include clobetasol  (0.05% cream). If you are suffering from itching, check out anti-itching oral medications like cetirizine, hydroxyzine and ioratidine.

TIP 3 –
Fix a humidifier at your home. Make sure the humidity is set between 45% and 55%. Wear scarf and gloves before you go out and apply moisturizer to your face, hands and lips.

TIP 4 –
When you are showering, use lukewarm water and clean yourself within 10 minutes. This will avoid excessive drying of your skin.

TIP 5 –
When buying soaps, get hold of a mild and non-perfumed one. This will not strain your skin and avoid employing unnecessary chemicals, used in perfumed soaps.

TIP 6 –
Quit scrubbing and start using your hands or a soft washcloth. After taking bath, gently dry yourself with cotton towel, but leave your skin a little damp. Apply moisturiser to your damp skin. As already discussed, buy emollients which contain items like lactic acid, petroleum jelly, urea and dimethicone. This will preserve the moisture in your skin.

TIP 7 –
If you are above 45 and your skin feels like semi-rock, ready-to-break, then the process of ageing is taking its toll on your skin. You can reduce the process of wrinkles setting in by using creams with ingredients like retinol.

TIP 8 –
Have a wardrobe designed for your comfort. Wear clothes made from cotton and silk over synthetic and wool fabrics.

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