Dry skin on your face causes irritation and discomfort. Fortunately, there are simple strategies that can help. Changing your facial cleansing routine can reduce dry skin. You can also reduce the amount of moisture you lose by doing things like taking short showers and using a humidifier. Adjusting your diet and trying supplements can also help. If all else fails and you’re still dealing with dry skin, see your doctor or dermatologist.
Causes of dry skin
People who do not moisturize their skin with a suitable emollient regularly are more likely to develop dry skin for obvious reasons.
In addition, over-cleansing your skin can remove natural moisture from your skin, leaving it dry and irritated. Many people overuse scrub, soap, and cleansers to clean their skin. This damages the skin barrier and further exacerbates dryness.
Other factors that can worsen the condition despite proper fluid intake and skin hydration include:
- Age: there is an age-related decline in the production of collagen, a structural protein responsible for maintaining the elasticity of your skin. Thus, the integrity of the skin is more and more compromised with age, resulting in dry, saggy, and thin skin over time. In addition, older people experience metabolic changes and decreased fluid intake, which can cause dry, thin, and loose skin.
- Hormonal and metabolic diseases: diabetes mellitus, malnutrition, hyperthyroidism characterized by dry eyes and dry mouth can contribute to dry skin. Additionally, menopausal women can produce abnormally low amounts of certain hormones that are responsible for stimulating the sebaceous glands that underlie and lubricate the skin.
- Climate: The problem of dry and flaky skin is especially common during the cold and dry winter months. The drier the weather, the drier the skin. This is only exacerbated by the excessive use of indoor heaters and air vents that make your living environment, and therefore your skin, even drier.
- Some skin diseases: those suffering from eczema, ichthyosis, contact dermatitis, or psoriasis often have dry, flaky, dehydrated skin.
- Profession: people whose jobs require them to be in constant contact with water and those who must wash their hands frequently, such as nurses, hairdressers and professional swimmers, often suffer from the problem of dry, wrinkled skin. Prolonged exposure to water and repeated use of soap can remove natural moisture from your skin.
- Swimming in the pools: Chlorine added to swimming pools to keep the water clean can cause dryness.
- Some medicines: dry skin can also result from the use of certain topical and oral medications, which include diuretics and retinoids. Diuretics can dehydrate your body by increasing urine flow, and systemic retinoids can interfere with the structural integrity of the skin. Dry skin caused by these medications is mostly temporary.
- Nutrient deficiency: what you eat reflects on your skin, so an unhealthy diet that lacks essential nutrients is bound to make your skin look increasingly dry and pale.
- Genetic predisposition: some people are born with structural abnormalities in their skin cells that compromise the integrity of their skin barrier. Thus, they have an inherited tendency to develop dry skin.
How to identify dry skin
- Dry skin that is rough and scaly to the touch
- Dull and flaky skin
- Fine lines that are more defined than before
- Intense localized dryness that may extend to deeper layers of the skin, causing skin tearing and bleeding
- Chapped lips that can sometimes bleed
- Openwork cracks on the hands, feet and lips
- Skin that feels unusually tight after being exposed to water
- Greyish skin in dark-skinned people
- severe itching
Dry skin care program
- Drink plenty of fluids: Approximately 20% of your body’s total water content is stored in the skin, and 60%-70% of this reserve is stored in the topmost layer. Since most of the skin is mostly water, it is important to maintain a constant supply of fluid in your body to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. The elderly are advised to consume 1500 ml of water per day, which is about nine 8 cups per day. You can also supplement your fluid intake with water-rich fruits and foods.
- Prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, can strip your skin of its natural lipids and leave it completely dry and wrinkled. With this in mind, you should avoid long baths or showers and always use warm water.
- Consume a well-balanced diet, focusing on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids as they help maintain and restore the structural integrity of skin cells.
- Be mindful of the bathing products you use. Review the ingredient list before buying a soap or skin cleanser to see if it contains any harsh chemicals, alcohol, or dyes that can dry out your skin even more. Always choose gentle, unscented skin cleansers that Comes with added moisturizers. The same applies to your other skin care products.
- Wear soft, comfortable clothing next to your skin. Avoid coarse fabrics such as wool.
- If your home environment is dry, consider using a humidifier to transfer moisture into the air.
- Dry skin can be extremely itchy, but you must resist the urge to scratch to avoid further damage.
- One easy way to relieve discomfort is to apply a cool compress to the irritated areas. This will temporarily dampen the nerve endings in the area and provide short-term relief.
- The skin does not respond well to sudden or drastic changes in temperature, which can often cause or exacerbate dry skin. Thus, maintain a stable temperature setting in your living space to avoid dry skin.
- Long-term exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun can change the structure of tissues and the DNA of skin cells. Avoid exposure during peak hours, i.e. between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, especially in summer and spring when ultraviolet radiation is intense. If you need to go out during this time, the least you can do is apply sunscreen SPF 30 to protect your skin.