Dry Skin: Causes and Treatment

Winter weather is one of skin's worst enemies. Although winter weather will put your skin through more wear and tear than usual, there are other factors that should be considered while talking care of your skin.

To keep your skin moisturized, supple and younger a proper skin care regimen has to be followed. This has the advantage of cutting down on wrong habits of skin treatment and self medication which may further damage your skin instead of rejuvenating it.


"Xerosis" is the dermatological term for dry skin. "Pruritus" is another extreme condition of xerosis where the skin moisture is completely absent and results in scaling, itching and cracking.

Your skin needs a minimum amount of moisture to maintain itself of its suppleness and flexibility. Lack of such moisture content renders your skin entirely unprotected.

Moisture less skin is also very vulnerable to seepage of harmful ultra violet rays from the sun to the subcutaneous tissue and cause irreparable damage.

Dry Skin - Causes

The undesirable condition of dry skin can be caused by a variety of factors. Identifying these will help you to prevent them through proper and timely care. Check the soap you use for ingredients that may be harsh in nature. Soaps that are deodorizing or anti-bacterial are strong and tend to rob your skin of required moisture and oils rendering it dry.

Tips to avoid Dry Skin

  • Avoid washing with hot water, and avoid washing too frequently. Frequent bathing with hot water may expose your skin to infections by removing the moisture retaining ingredients.If you are used to bathing with hot water and cannot resist the temptation, try replacing it with lukewarm water to lessen the effect of skin dryness.
  • Frequent Washing - Frequent washing and bathing, usually more than once a day depletes your body with moisture and natural oils. Also, limit your bathing time within 15 minutes.
  • Genetic Disease - People afflicted with a rare genetic disease called ichthyosis are likely to develop dry skin.
  • Alpha hydroxyacid lotions are best for dry skin. Oil-based are more effective than water based lotions for they "lock-in" the moisture stored in the skin.
  • Effective moisturizers are dependent on your immediate and long-term needs. If you want to relieve itching caused by dry skin, ordinary moisturizers will serve your purpose.
  • Balanced-diet and exercise: Drinking plenty of water is also important.

If these and other treatments are not effective in alleviating all the symptoms of drying skin, it is best that you consult a professional dermatologist so they can closely monitor the cause of dryness.

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