You usually don’t give it too much thought when you have dry skin. You slap on some moisturizer and you are good to go. Dry skin seems completely harmless most of the time, but what if your skin is dry, flaky, and parched no matter how much you moisturize it? Then, the condition of your skin might not just be because of the cold, dry weather. Your body might be trying to warn you of an underlying health issue, which can sometimes be quite serious. If you experience any other weird symptoms along with dry skin, then it is worth visiting the doctor for a full checkup. Here are some serious health problems your dry skin may be indicating.
1. Your Thyroid May Be Underactive
Your body needs hormones in the right amount to be able to perform its various biological functions effectively. Your thyroid gland produces these hormones, so it is necessary for it to function efficiently at all times. When your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, all your bodily functions start slowing down. You may become forgetful, feel colder, get tired easily, and feel depressed. Your thyroid hormones interact with the thyroid hormone receptors on your skin to ensure the continuous regeneration of new skin cells to replace the old ones. So, if an optimum amount of thyroid hormones are not produced, your skin will suffer.
Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you have an underactive thyroid or not by performing a series of blood tests. If you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, then you can take medication prescribed by your doctor to get your thyroid up and running. You should also start living a healthier life by including a lot of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits in your diet and by exercising regularly. Also, make sure you get a healthy dose of iodine, selenium, and zinc through your diet.
2. You May Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, then it is quite easy for you to have dry, flaky skin. High blood sugar levels cause your body to lose fluid at an extremely fast rate. This, in turn, draws the moisture from your skin causing it to become dehydrated. Diabetes also affects your skin’s ability to perspire effectively, which adds to the problem of dry skin. The other symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, the urge to urinate frequently, increased hunger, blurred vision, and fatigue. It is better to get your blood sample tested to know if diabetes is the actual cause of your dry skin.
3. You May Have Kidney Disease
Your skin needs an appropriate amount of minerals and other nutrients, which is transported by your blood, in order to retain moisture. If your kidney does not function properly then your skin becomes parched. You may also experience other symptoms like increased urination, fatigue, abdomen pain, trouble sleeping, and decreased concentration when you have kidney disease. Since most people may not experience the symptoms until the disease has progressed to quite an extent, it is a good idea to get yourself tested regularly, especially if you have diabetes, a family history of kidney disease, high blood pressure, and if you are above the age of 60.
4. You May Have Skin Cancer
If your skin is extremely dry with red patches and bleeds easily when scratched, then you may have squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a common form of skin cancer. You may also have open sores or warts which might heal and return consistently when you have SCC. Excessive sun exposure is a common cause of SCC, and it is treatable if you are able to detect it in its early stages. It is advisable to visit a dermatologist if you notice any abnormalities in your skin just to be on the safe side.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so taking care of it is extremely important. Make sure to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize regularly. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and never step out without sunscreen, regardless of the weather.