Dry skin is usually relatively harmless for the most part but for people who struggle with chronic dry skin it can be an annoying condition that causes discomfort and embarrassment. Dry skin might be the result of both environmental contributors or genetic predispositions. Some of the causes of dry skin may include the following:
An abundance of hot baths and showers. Taking a hot shower or bath daily can cause the skin to dry out. Frequent swims in swimming pools that have been heavily chlorinated are zap the skin of moisture.
Soaps that are harsh and not known for their moisturizing tendencies can strip the skin of moisture as well. Detergents used to clean clothing items or antibacterial soaps often have the same negative effect. Shampoos that wash grease and oil from hair may also dry out the scalp when used regularly.
Sun exposure is the culprit to many skin problems including dry skin. The ultraviolet rays penetrate the top layer and cause wrinkles, sagging skin, loose skin and dryness.
The heat in general can be hard on the skin. In the summer, the outdoor heat affects the skin’s moisture and during the winter months space heaters, fires in fireplaces, stoves and central heating all play a role in drying out the skin. When humidity levels are low or in desert regions, people are more susceptible to developing dry skin conditions.
There are other conditions such as eczema, which is a skin condition in which the buildup of dry, rough skin forms quickly causing a scale-like appearance, affects many with it’s dry-to-the-touch surface.
Treating dry skin can be straight forward and fairly simple. Everyday efforts such as avoiding hot water and opting for warm water instead or keeping skin well covered to prevent overexposure to the elements can help to protect skin and keep it from drying out. Maintaining a consistent moisturizing routine will help as well with moisturizers that contain shea butter, stearic acid or glycerin being particularly beneficial.
Other protective efforts may include cleansing skin gently while avoiding cleansers that contain alcohol whenever possible. Avoid exfoliation too often and don’t scrub the skin too hard.
Of course, there are many people whose struggle with dry skin goes beyond the minimal dry patches that result from hot showers. Many people have tried lots of creams and treatments to help alleviate their chronic dry skin with little improvement. In such instances we can be of help and encourage you to schedule an appointment to discuss your skin condition and help you find some long term relief.