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Dry Skin - Why It Normally Happens?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Aanchal Sehrawat 86% (97 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Dermatology & Venerology & Leprosy (DDVL), DNB Dermatology
Dermatologist, Gurgaon  •  11 years experience
Dry Skin - Why It Normally Happens?

It is common for skin to get dry and the condition is marked by less than the required water in the epidermis (the topmost skin layer). Males and females are equally affected by it. With age, the incidences for having dry skin increases. Elderly people tend to have less amount of natural lubricants and oil in the skin. Areas like the hands, lower legs and arms are more prone to have dry skin. Atmospheric humidity also affects the dryness of skin. It is called xerosic dermatitis or xeroderma.

It might be temporary and mild and may last for some days. In some cases, it can become a severe long-term problem. Dry skin symptoms encompass itching, discomfort and skin tightness. Winters and dry, cold air also affects your skin and the result is dry skin.

Why it normally occurs?
Individuals who wash or sanitize their hands more often can experience a greater degree of dry skin.

  • Medications may also induce this condition.
  • The epidermis layer of the skin normally has protein and fat, which prevents dehydration in the skin. When the fatty oils in the skin are removed, the moisture and protection of the skin is lost. The skin becomes more sensitive and breakdowns easily when it gets dried. It might cause the skin to become powdered or may be invisible.
  • Red rash may appear if dry skin is left untreated. Simple treatment and prevention measures have been effective in dry skin treatment.
  • Avoid chemical cleansers and harsh soaps is an effective way to prevent dry skin. Moisturisers and bland emollient application on a regular basis have shown effectiveness for treating the condition.
  • Cellulitis, bacterial infections and eczema might be complications arising from dry skin. Thankfully, dry skin generally is mild and the remedies are easy.
  • Generalised winter itching is also called winter itch and can be seen commonly amongst older people. It is mainly caused due to dry skin.
  • People suffering from eczema may also experience winter itch.
  • Cold temperature and low humidity can make the dry skin worse in winters.

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