Often a temporary condition, dry skin affects most of us, especially in the winter or when affected by sudden changes in temperature.
After all, it takes a while for our largest organ, the skin, to get used to the changes in the environment!
For some, dry skin is a problem that remains throughout life, but can be managed with certain simple solutions. Dry skin often appears with age and those living in colder, drier climates are the most prone to it.
How do I know if I have dry skin?
Dry skin will depend on lots of factors, including your age, lifestyle, location and genes.
Check for the following symptoms to establish whether you suffer from dry skin:
- Tight skin
- Increasingly tight feeling skin following showering, bathing or swimming – or any immersion in water
- Rough patches
- Rough looking skin
- An itchy sensation.
- Flakiness of the skin
- Skin peeling away
- Skin cracking
- Skin shedding
- The appearance of fine lines
- Lacklustre, grey looking skin
- Red patches
- Irritations of the skin and blotchiness
When shall I see a doctor?
If your skin doesn’t get better after your efforts for hydrating and nourishing, and if the skin appears red, or if you notice infections due to scratching, consult a doctor or dermatologist.
Why do I have dry skin?
Xerosis, or dry skin, can be due to a host of reasons. Here are the most common offenders:
Modern day central heating and air conditioning all take humidity out of the air and thus add to any risk of dry skin.
In winter, when it’s colder, windier and drier, skin dries out and often cracks.
Aggressive soaps and detergents
Devised to remove oil, many of today’s products are astringent. Indeed, they take your skin’s natural moisture away!
Too many dips
Whether you like to soak in a hot bathtub or long showers or even taking a dip in the municipal pool, it risks drying out your skin.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis and Psoriasis will leave your skin feeling rough and dry.