Dry skin is a skin condition in which your skin becomes flaky and rough. You may see white flakes of dead skin cells on top of your skin or cracking of your skin’s outer layer. Nobody wants to deal with this, but it’s a common issue people all over the world can face.
There are many reasons dry skin can occur, so be sure to figure out what’s causing your dry skin so that you can get the help needed to cure it.
What is Dry Skin?
Dry skin is an uncomfortable and sometimes physically noticeable skin condition marked by itching and cracking symptoms. Some people naturally have dry skin, but even people with oily skin may develop dry skin at times.
It can affect any part of your body but is most frequently seen on hands, arms, and legs. There are also different types of dry skin, and it can occur due to a variety of reasons, which will be covered throughout this article.
It's understandable to want to get rid of dry skin, as it can be uncomfortable and stand out to other people. However, you must first find out the causes, and then you can take the next steps to find products or services that can help.
There are many reasons for dry skin, so let’s get into them.
What Are the Causes of Dry Skin?
Everything from weather conditions to hot water and certain chemicals can cause your skin to dry out. The real reason for dry skin is simply the loss of oil and water from the upper layers of your skin. Many times, dry skin may just be a symptom of another condition.
The main reasons can usually be traced back to the environment, such as living in hot, dry climates with excessive sun exposure or swimming often in chlorinated pools. Chemicals can also have an effect on your skin, especially if your job revolves around working with chemical solutions.
Hairdressers, medical providers, and outdoor workers may be at higher risk of developing dry skin for these reasons.
There are also medical conditions that may result in dry skin, such as bacterial or fungal infections. Many of these are considered rare, and you’ll most likely see other symptoms that can help you figure out what the condition is.
Consult a doctor if you think you may have an infection or disease that’s causing your dry skin.
Environmental Causes of Dry Skin
While many people have naturally drier skin because the skin produces less oil, environmental factors may have a direct cause as well. If you live in a location with less moisture in the air, it may result in less moisture in the top layers of your skin.
This includes low-humidity or cold climates, but it can also be hot desert climates. This may seem counter, being both cold and dry climates, but dry skin can occur throughout any season if there’s less moisture in the air.
Some locations may have humid summers, so dry skin occurs more frequently in low-humidity winter months. Some may have dry summers, making this a time to watch for dry skin.
Swimming in chlorinated pools or fresh or salt water can also have an effect on your skin. You should be okay as long as you aren’t swimming for an excessive amount of time in the water, but it may be a contributing factor to dry skin. Surprisingly, bathing excessively can also contribute to dry skin.
Chemical Causes of Dry Skin
Everyday chemicals such as deodorant soaps and harsh cleaning products can strip the oils and water from your skin. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands if handling strong chemical solutions. People who work in professions that handle chemicals may have drier skin.
Hairdressers handle shampoos, dyes, and other solutions, while medical providers handle antiseptic soaps and chemical treatments. Even people working outdoors may be exposed to herbicides and other chemicals.
Try to find a way to reduce the number of chemicals you’re using in your job, use protection, or take extra skin care steps to keep your skin smooth and moisturized.
Can Age Cause Dry Skin?
Unfortunately, it can. As we age, our skin produces less sebum, an oil that keeps your skin soft and smooth. By your 40s, the amount of sebum in your skin drops significantly, and continues to drop as you age.
This is the natural aging process and should be expected, but it can be treated with products and skincare. Prevention starting in younger years can also reduce the number and depth of wrinkles caused by dry skin.
Not only can age cause dry skin, but research shows that people with darker or lighter skin may have a higher risk of developing dry skin. People with medium complexions, such as those with Mediterranean ancestry, are less likely to have dry skin.
Medical Conditions That Cause Dry Skin
There are many medical conditions that may result in dry skin. Even certain medications, including statins and diuretics, may lead to this skin condition.
Skin needs nutrients to stay healthy, so those with vitamin D, vitamin A, niacin, zinc, or iron deficiency may experience skin dryness. Smoking speeds up the aging process in your skin due to harmful chemicals in cigarettes.
Diabetes, thyroid disease, or kidney disease are all conditions known to contribute to dryness of your skin. These are considered urgent causes and it’s important to seek further medical attention if your dry skin is a result of one of these, as more serious symptoms may show up.
Can Dehydration Cause Dry Skin?
It’s important to address the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin because many people get confused and use these terms synonymously.
Dry skin is caused by your body not producing or having enough sebum, or oils in your skin. Dehydrated skin is a result of not drinking enough water. It can also appear to be dry and flaky, but the cure is simple: drink more water.
So yes, dehydration can cause dry skin, but dryness caused by dehydration is due to low water intake and can easily be fixed with lifestyle changes.
Your skin’s appearance may also be different, because dry skin with not enough oils may crack and cause rashes, whereas dehydrated skin may be flakier. This article targets dry skin as a condition, the type that’s caused by not enough sebum oils in the top layer of your skin.
Can Stress Cause Dry Skin?
High levels of stress and anxiety are known to contribute to dry skin. If not treated, there may even be a progression from dry skin to full-blown eczema, which is a more serious skin condition. Especially if the stress or anxiety is causing you to scratch your skin, it can worsen dryness. This is something to look into and find treatment for.
Other Causes of Dry Skin
Though we’ve covered many causes, there are still others that may be what’s making your skin dry. Hormonal changes, especially in teenagers or women going through menopause, are other factors.
If you frequently scratch your skin, whether due to stress or habit, this can worsen dry skin by further breaking down your skin barrier and exposing nerves.
Dry Skin Conditions
There are certain dry skin conditions that may develop with the main symptom being dryness. This includes eczema, also called dermatitis or atopic eczema, and it’s a chronic condition with itchy rashes. It’s not contagious and is often seen in infants and young children.
Most susceptible are those with family histories of eczema, asthma, or hay fever. This is the main skin condition that people know of, but there are others so be sure to do your research.
When to See a Doctor
Mild cases can be treated at home using products or making lifestyle changes, but complications may warrant the need to seek medical help from a doctor.
Consult your doctor if you’ve developed eczema or infections begin to form. Cracked dry skin allows bacteria to enter and may result in infections, which can be painful and should be looked at by a professional.
Signs to look for that may require a trip to the doctor include chronically itchy, dry skin with red patches, especially if they become raw from scratching.
A medical provider can help manage symptoms and prevent bacterial skin infections. Stubborn, itchy rashes of scaly red circles with clear centres, as well as skin irritation and itching in genital areas should also be treated professionally.
Dry skin along with depression, anxiety, body pain, or hair loss could mean other serious matters and you should let your doctor know about these symptoms.
How to Get Rid of Dry Skin
At-home treatments can be a simple, affordable way to treat mild skin dryness. Start by integrating a good skin care routine with moisturizers that will soften your skin.
Many people experience mild dry skin, even sometimes, and simply moisturizing more often may be the cure.
Use a mild cleanser, wash with warm water instead of hot water, and wear protective gloves while washing dishes and cleaning. A humidifier may help by increasing indoor humidity and naturally adding moisture to your skin.
Other prevention methods include limiting water exposure or rinsing and moisturizing after swimming, carefully shaving with a lubricating agent, using gentle soaps, and drinking more water throughout the day.
It may seem like a lot of “to-do’s” but making these adjustments doesn’t take much time or effort and the result will be well worth it. You’ll get used to the new lifestyle and enjoy smooth, soft skin as a result.
There are many great products designed to help with sebum production and dry skin. Doctors may provide you with stronger prescription treatments, but there are many over-the-counter options available as well.
Recommended Products for Dry Skin
Lotions and creams are effective ways to cure dry skin while feeling rejuvenated and getting extra skin benefits along with your dryness treatment. There is a variety of amazing skincare options for all different skin types. Check out our list of recommended products below.
KYOTO KOMACHI Matcha Beauty Essence Cream
This essence cream is based on a Japanese green tea extract and provides many ingredients to rejuvenate your skin. The matcha antioxidants promote smoother and more supple skin and have the power to reduce puffiness, skin inflammation, and dark under-eye circles.
The quince seed extract helps your skin retain moisture, which is needed for dry and/or dehydrated skin. Squalene and hyaluronic acid lock the moisture into your skin. Shea butter, hinoki cypress oil and grape seed oil retain moisture and hydrate your skin. This cream is the perfect solution with a mix of hydrating ingredients to eliminate dry skin.
LIOVERITE Balance Control Lotion
LIOVERITE skincare was created in a collaboration between Japan and France and is designed to restore the natural balance of your skin. The ingredients lock in hydration without leaving behind unwanted residue. Hyaluronic acid moistures the outer and deep layers of your skin, stimulating collagen production and hydrating your skin.
The beta-glucan ingredient repairs skin provides lasting hydration and soothes irritated and damaged skin. This lightweight lotion is great for combating dry skin and achieving the smooth and hydrated look you want.
Myufull EGF Extra Essence LIOVERITE Body & Face Moisturizing Milk Lotion Plow
This essence moisturizes your skin while protecting against UV radiation, aging and providing anti-inflammatory benefits. Ingredients such as collagen and propanediol provide your skin with exceptional moisture. Added growth factors (EGF) are considered to be one of the best topical anti-aging ingredients. Sodium Hyaluronate is a micronized version of Hyaluronic Acid which makes your skin plump and dewy.
Give your skin extra nourishment and achieve perfectly smooth, moisturized skin with the Myufull EGF Extra Essence.
LIOVERITE Body & Face Moisturizing Milk Lotion Plow
A body and face lotion with ceramides 1, 2, 3, III, 6-II which holds skin cells in your skin together to prevent loss of hydration.
This milk ticks all the boxes for an effective face and body moisturizer.
QINUDE Hand Cream
Made with silk extract which contains 20 amino acids including collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. With added jojoba oil, algae extract, and macadamia oil, this natural moisturizing hand cream both repair damage and deeply moistize your hands.
Over to You
Dry skin can be a difficult and unwanted skin condition to deal with. Understanding the causes is the first step, now it’s time to begin trying different solutions!
Hopefully, this article gave you some pointers, but continue to do your research to be sure you’re aware of what’s the main cause behind your dry skin.
Good luck and be sure to take care of your skin for long-lasting, youthful benefits!