Dry skin can be one of the most irritating feelings in the world! It often can leave our skin feeling flaky, irritated, and most of all itchy. This can typically affect people in many areas of the body, but most commonly in your arms, hands, lower legs, abdomen, and ares of friction such as ankles and soles of feet. The more the severe of the dryness the more cracks and fissures may evolve. If you continue to itch your skin, the severity of your skin will worsen. This then makes the itch even worse down the road.
So what exactly is dry skin? If you’re experiencing this discomfort, just know that you are not the only one because this is a very common skin condition. It typically effects the superficial layer of your skin called the epidermis. This is the outermost layer of skin on your body. It can affect both male and females equally, but tends to be more prevalent in older people. The older you are your skin tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. It is usually affected by the amount of water vapor in the surround air, or the humidity.
What Is Dry Skin?
This can be a mild, temporary condition that last from a few days to a few weeks, but there are very rare conditions that make this condition life long and permanent. However, that usually stems from genetics and hereditary. If you experience long term dryness, it is highly recommended to visit your local doctor. There are several reasons as to why you are experiencing dry skin. They are either classified as external or internal factors. External factors include cold temps, and low humidity; this is usually a problem during the cold winter months when the air is very dry. But other external factors include, over washing with harsh soaps, overuse of sanitizers and cleaning agents, cold temperatures and low humidity. Internal factors may include your overall health, age, genetics, family history, and a personal history of other medical conditions like atopic dermatitis.
What Are The Treatments For Dry Skin?
The best and most obvious treatment for dry skin is daily lubrication with an emollient, which is a substance that inhibits the evaporation of water. Because the main cause for dry skin comes from external factors, external treatments such as lotions, creams and serums that are applied topically are the most effective to relieving your skin. If you have severe drying in your skin, use topical steriod creams that include hydrocortisone, pramosone, triamcinolone, and fluocinonide.
As a general rule, only mild corticosteroid creams like hydrocortisone should be used on the face, underarm, and groin areas, Long term uses of these creams may cause serious adverse effects, including skin thinning, stretch marks and skin breakdown.
What If I don’t Take Care Of My Dry Skin?
This again, can be very common for many people because they either have sensitive skin to begin with, so many creams and lotions may not work for them. But a big result of this may be secondary bacterial infection. Infections may be mild and resolve spontaneously or may be more severe and necessitiate antibiotic treatment. Severe itching leads to repeat scratching of lesions, hence the “itch-scratch-rash-itch” cycle.
If you happen to struggle with dry skin and nothing is working out for you, consult a doctor as soon as you can so that the problem doesn’t persist.