Our skin is the largest organ of our body and performs several functions including protection, regulation of body temperature, and helps us in sensing external stimuli and touch. Several conditions cause our skin to dry out and in some cases may cause itching, flaking, and even bleeding. Severe dry skin may in a few cases be a symptom of some other skin condition. The beauty industry has also made us feel insecure about dry skin deeming it as unattractive as opposed to smoother, softer skin. If you have dry skin and want to know why it dries out and what you can do about it, read on.
1. Why Does Our Skin Dry Out?
Before we try to resolve a problem, it’s always best to understand what might be causing it in the first place. Your dry skin may be a result of several external or internal conditions and it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not easy to isolate a single causative factor. Some of the external factors causing dry skin include the weather, drop in temperature, low humidity, long hot showers, prolonged use of some moisturizers, using harsh soaps, itchy clothing, and some medication. Internal factors may include age, genetics, and medical conditions like psoriasis, eczema, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition.
2. Is Having Dry Skin Bad?
In most cases dry skin isn’t cause for any major health conditions. The may although cause discomfort and irritation. In extreme cases of dry skin where skin may look abnormal, the individual in question may feel upset and conscious of their appearance ultimately affecting their mood. The good thing is, if your dry skin is bothering you, there are ways to help reduce it.
3. What Are The Dos And Don’ts When Dealing With Dry Skin?
With Regard To Food
Do eat foods that are rich in healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
Do eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, flax seeds, and walnuts.
Avoid excessive drinking of coffee and alcohol.
Don’t use extremely hot water. You can use warm water.
Do close the door when you shower or bathe so that the moist air does not escape.
Don’t expose your skin to warm water for more than fifteen minutes.Shorter showers will help keep the skin from drying out.
Do ensure that the soap or cleanser you use is gentle and preferably without a strong fragrance.
Don’t use too much soap as this may reduce moisture in the skin. Use enough to clean.
Do pat and dab your skin dry without rubbing your towel on it harshly.
Do use moisturizer immediately when skin is still slightly damp.
Don’t use moisturizers that have a strong fragrance as they may contain harmful chemicals.
Do use creams that contain natural ingredients like olive oil, jojoba oil, or aloe vera.
Avoid using skin-care products that contain a large percentage of alcohol like hand-sanitizers.
With Regard To Clothing
Do use fabric that doesn’t irritate your skin. Wear soft fabric like cotton under a rough fabric like wool to prevent direct contact with skin.
Don’t use harsh laundry detergents and ensure that you use the detergent in appropriate quantities.
4. Should You Consult A Dermatologist?
If you’ve followed all of the above dos and don’ts and still experience dry skin, you may want to consult your dermatologist. It may be possible that your dry skin is the result of some medication that you’re taking or perhaps you may have an underlying skin condition. Your healthcare professional should be able to direct you to the right prescription ointments to treat your skin.