Dry face and body skin is a very common problem. Do not confuse it with one of the four skin types – next to normal, oily and combination skin. It is easy to determine it by redness, roughness and unpleasant feeling of tightness. Also, it is easily irritated and can be overly sensitive to cosmetics and water. In addition, it may be accompanied by flakiness and troublesome pruritus. What causes dry skin and how to take care of it properly?
Dry skin – causes
The direct cause of excessively dry skin is the reduced ability to bind and retain water in the epidermal layer and the deficiency of lipids in the stratum corneum. This state of affairs may be the result of various external and internal factors, such as:
- improper care,
- taking medicines,
- excessive sun exposure,
- low temperature,
- strong wind,
- unhealthy diet,
- the level of body hydration,
- genetic basis.
Dry skin may be a regular skin care problem or a symptom of a chronic disease, so you should not underestimate it.
Dry skin and diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by a disorder of insulin secretion by the pancreas. Weak or complete decrease in the production of this hormone translates into the lack of natural regulation of the patient’s blood sugar level. The first visible symptoms of diabetes are considered to be problems connected with the skin, namely excessive dryness and flaking. The epidermis of a diabetic sufferer can be recognized by the fact that it is thin and very susceptible to wounds that are difficult to heal.
If your heels are cracking painfully and deeply, you should undergo tests for diabetes, because it may be a diabetic foot syndrome. In many diabetics, increased desiccation of the skin of the heels turns into cracking, which can lead to the development of a serious infection. To prevent it, you must use preparations with moisturizing and oiling properties.
Dry skin and thyroid gland
Thyroid diseases result from excessive or insufficient production of hormones, which are thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These disorders result in a chronic feeling of fatigue and weakness, dizziness, body weight fluctuation and difficulty in getting pregnant. Thyroid disease is manifested in dry and dull skin with a tendency to flake. This is particularly visible on the knees, elbows and feet – that’s where the skin is dark and dry, therefore it requires constant moisturizing and softening.
Dry skin and psoriasis
The first symptoms of psoriasis are red patches of dried and exfoliated skin, which initially appear on the feet, knees and elbows, and over time spread to the other parts of the skin. Patients with psoriasis have a disturbed and significantly accelerated cell transformation process, which in practice means that new cells mature quickly and the old ones cannot cope with such a quick exfoliation. As a consequence, a layer of dead cells is formed on the body in the form of papules covered with scales. Psoriasis should be treated pharmacologically, but the use of thick and greasy moisturizing preparations that retain water in the skin will certainly soothe irritated skin.
Dry skin and atopic dermatitis (AD)
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, autoimmune disease of the skin, which is manifested by a strong dryness of the epidermis and persistent itching. Symptoms intensify whenever the skin is in contact with allergens or detergents or as a result of severe stress. Patients must systematically relieve irritation, avoid water and soap use, instead, go for cosmetics rich in emollients.
Dry skin and dehydration of the body
Dehydration of the body is a condition that results from water and electrolyte deficiencies. It may be a consequence of too little water consumed, heat, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or kidney problems. The first symptom of the disease is chapped lips, increased thirst, dry skin of the face and body and fatigue (tired-looking skin under the eyes).
Dry skin – how to take care of it? My suggestions
Dry skin ages faster, so you have to moisturize it both from the inside and outside. For this reason, your diet should be rich in fruit, vegetables, and water at a minimum of 1.5 liters per day. In turn, the care of dry skin should be based on the use of hypoallergenic preparations aimed at soothing irritations, lubricating the skin and forming an occlusive oily film, which prevents water evaporation from the epidermis. Washing agents based on soap and alcohol should be replaced with mild cleansing preparations with pH neutral for the skin. Do not forget to protect the skin against harmful weather conditions, such as the sun (UV filters) and frost (intensively oiling preparations).
The symptoms of dry skin cannot be underestimated because – as I already wrote – they may be a sign of serious illness. If you have noticed chronic skin dryness and you suspect any of the diseases I have mentioned, make sure to contact your doctor. Untreated dry skin can break or turn into lichen, and even into strong eczema. All this does not only look terrible, but it also hurts and itches. In addition, thin and sensitive skin is much more susceptible to damage and the development of dangerous infections.
Do you have or have you ever had a problem with dry skin? If so, what was the reason and how did you deal with it? Please, tell me all about it in the comments!