Dry skin, also called xerosis, is a common skin condition that can occur at any age and for many reasons. It is important to use a moisturizer to help repair dry skin. It is also important to avoid harsh soaps and over-exposure to water as this can lead to drying of the skin.
Extremely dry skin can cause a rash or inflammation in the skin called xerotic dermatitis or eczema. This form of eczema results in dry, itchy irritated skin.
What do you see or feel when the skin is dry?
- People with dry skin experience some or all of the following:
- Rough skin
- Scaly or flaking skin
- Cracks in the skin or lips
What causes dry skin?
Some people are more likely to have dry skin. Age is a major factor in dry skin. The skin, as we age,becomes thinner and drier. Thinner skin is more likely to be irritated by the water and soap we commonly use daily. People who live in less humid climate are more likely to have dry skin. Certain skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are more likely to have dry skin. Overexposure to water and other chemicals such as chlorine can cause the skin to become dry.
How do dermatologists treat dry skin?
Dr. Bosley recommends the following:
Applying a moisturizer frequently throughout the day can help. Cream and ointment based moisturizers are helpful to repair dry skin.
Moisturizing cleansers and non-soap cleanser
True soaps dry the skin by removing the natural oil from the skin. Moisturizing soaps and non-soap cleansers are less likely to dry the skin.
Similar to soap, detergents can irritate and dry the skin. Detergents free of dyes and perfumes are less likely to dry and irritate the skin.