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What Are the Top Causes of Dry Skin?

Posted April 2020 by Biodermis
Dry skin is a problem that most of us face at some point in our lifetimes. While generally mild and harmless, dry skin can be a persistent and chronic problem that is often difficult to remedy. The reason that dry skin might be a recurrent problem for a lot of people is that they do not understand the cause of their condition. Dry skin can be caused by a number of environmental or genetic factors that are unknown to us. In this article, we will go over some of the more common causes of dry skin to help you identify where the problem originates and how you may be able to fix it.

What are the main causes of dry skin?

Dry skin is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. But what is the source of this lack of moisture? It could derive from something in the environment, such as the weather or products that come in contact with the skin. Dry skin could be a result of genetics that cause underlying skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. A simple lifestyle change may improve the dryness in your skin, or there may be some other problem that requires medical attention. No matter the case, there is likely some rational explanation for why you are experiencing persistent, dry skin. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it may give you an idea for what is causing the dryness in your own skin so that you can make the necessary changes to correct it.

Medical conditions that cause dry skin
As was mentioned previously, there are certain underlying medical conditions that can cause recurring dry skin. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is one such condition that can affect people of all ages and usually develops in early childhood. The symptoms of eczema include dryness, itchiness, redness, and inflammation in the skin. This condition usually only affects certain areas of the skin such as the arms or knees, but it can develop anywhere. Psoriasis is another ailment of the skin that leads to scaly, dry patches, similar to eczema. Psoriasis is believed to be an immune system problem that causes skin cells to build up on certain areas of the body. While neither of these conditions is too serious, dry skin can also be linked to a seemingly unrelated health condition like diabetes, thyroid problems, or kidney failure. If you think there might be a serious problem related to your dry skin, you should consult a doctor to learn more.

Soaps and fragrance-rich products
It’s important to watch out for what types of products you use because many of them contain ingredients that are sapping the moisture from your skin. Most mass-produced soaps today are packed with perfumes to help them smell better and be more appealing to the consumer. Some skin types, however, don’t mix well with fragrant-rich products like soaps, lotions, and deodorants because they might be robbing the moisture from your skin. Look for the term “fragrant-free” on product labels if you think fragrance is the culprit for your dry skin.

Excessive handwashing and hard water
Handwashing is one of the most important tools we have for protecting ourselves against germs and other diseases. We constantly use our hands throughout the day for various tasks and they can become dirty very quickly. Frequent handwashing is vital, but it can also cause your skin to dry out, especially if you are using hard (mineral rich) water to wash them. Some tap water contains high concentrations of magnesium and calcium that can prevent your skin from absorbing moisture. If you must wash your hands frequently throughout the day, make sure the water you’re using isn’t too harsh. You can apply a fragrant-free moisturizer to your hands after each handwashing session to combat the dryness.

Dry outdoor and indoor climates
Some climates simply aren’t conducive to vibrant, healthy skin. If you live in places with extreme climates with low humidity, such as the desert or icy tundra, you may find it difficult to keep moisture in your skin. A humidifier can be your greatest ally if you live in a low moisture climate. Humidifiers are relatively inexpensive and you can keep them running at your bedside while you sleep. Staying hydrated and carrying a moisturizer with you throughout the day can also help alleviate the turmoil of harsh climates.

Extended hot showers
Hot showers, especially during the colder months, feel great and can leave your body feeling calm and relaxed after a long day. But, as the old saying goes, you should do everything in moderation. Long, extended stays under a hot, steaming shower can burn your skin and dry it out. Ideally, you want to stay in the shower for a minimum of 5-10 minutes and keep the temperature at a moderate level. Shorter, cooler showers are generally better for your skin and hair.

Aging isn’t the best for your skin
Obviously, we all grow old and, as we age, we must endure all of the impacts that come along with it, including dry skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults ages 40 and older tend to see an increased risk of skin dryness. As we get older, our skin tends to produce less essential oil (sebum) and dries out. For women, a change in hormones that occurs with age can also be the culprit of dry skin. Using a moisturizer several times a day can help combat the dryness that comes along with old age.


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