Are you experiencing areas of skin that look and feel rough, have a feeling of tightness, or are flaky or red? If so, you may be experiencing dry skin. While dry skin is not harmful to your health, it can cause discomfort and self-consciousness. Thankfully, dry skin can usually be treated fairly easily. At our Bellevue, WA office, we can have your skin feeling hydrated and beautiful in no time!
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin is a common condition that causes itching, scaling, and cracking. While some people may have naturally dry skin, it can occur for many different reasons and may be temporary. Dry skin can affect any area of the body, though the most common areas include the arms, hands, and legs. While it is not a serious condition, it can be uncomfortable.
One of the most common causes of dry skin is the environment, though certain diseases can also significantly dry out the skin. The most popular dry skin factors include:
- Weather: During the winter months the skin tends to be the driest. This is because humidity levels and temperatures go down, sucking moisture from the air.
- Heat: Space heaters, central heating, and fireplaces in your home all reduce humidity, drying out the skin.
- Hot showers or baths: Taking hot, very long baths or showers can dry out your skin.
- Harsh skincare products: Many different soaps, detergents, and shampoos work by eliminating excess oil from the skin, but they also remove necessary moisture.
- Other skin conditions: Other conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can also cause dry skin.
- Age: Older individuals are more prone to dry skin. This is because your skin produces less oil as your age.
Dry Skin Treatment Options
The firsts step toward treating your dry skin will be an examination by Dr. Gray. She will take a look at your dry skin, and also ask you some questions to pinpoint the cause of your skin dryness. In some cases, diagnostic testing may be needed to check if your dry skin is caused by an underlying medical condition.
There are a number of different lifestyle remedies that can help to treat your dry skin. These include:
Moisturizing: Moisturizing your skin regularly, especially after bathing, is important to keep your skin supple and hydrated. Thicker moisturizers work best for the body, while there are moisturizers specifically formulated for the face.
Limit hot water use: Long baths and showers strip oil and moisture from your skin Try to limit your bathing time and use warm, not hot, water.
Use a humidifier: If your house is hot and dry inside, it can make dry skin worse, causing it to itch and flake. Home humidifiers can help to keep the necessary moisture in the air.
Over-the-counter creams: For individuals with very scaly or dry skin, creams containing lactic acid, glycolic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerine can help to improve your skin’s natural moisture factor.
Hydrocortisone lotions: Dry skin that has developed into dermatitis can be treated using creams or ointments that contain hydrocortisone.