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Sensitive Skin: What is Dry Skin?

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to the blog. This week we're continuing on the series of sensitive skin. Last week we learned what sensitive skin is and how eczema can make the skin sensitive. If you missed last week's blog, you can read it here.

This week we're discussing another skin condition that causes your skin to be sensitive, dry skin.

Sensitive Skin: Dry/Flaky Skin

Dry skin (also known as xerosis) is due to water loss from the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Dry skin is often temporary or seasonal and can occur for a number of reasons. For example, you might get it only in winter. Other situations such as eczema will need to be treated long term. The following is a common list of situations that are known to cause dry skin:

Heat
Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and can dry out your skin.

Environment
Living in cold, windy conditions or low-humidity climates.
Scrubbing too much or too hard can cause dry skin
Too much bathing or scrubbing
Taking long, hot showers or baths or scrubbing your skin too much can dry your skin. Bathing more than once a day can remove the natural oils from your skin too.

Harsh soaps and detergents
Many popular soaps, detergents and shampoos strip moisture from your skin because they are formulated to remove oil.

Other skin conditions
People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are more likely to have dry skin.
Medications can cause dry skin
Medical treatments
Some people develop dry, thick skin after undergoing treatment for cancer, receiving dialysis or taking certain medications. Unfortunately, this is the hardest to treat.
Aging can cause dry skin
Aging
As people age, the skin thins and produces less of the oils needed for the skin to retain water.

So far, do any of the above apply to you? Being able to effectively take care of your skin begins by knowing and understanding why your skin is dry in the first place.

Signs/symptoms of dry skin will vary due to your age, health status, skin tone, living environment and sun exposure. They include:
  • Skin tightness
  • Skin feels and looks rough
  • Itchiness
  • Flaky skin
  • Scaling or peeling skin
  • Cracked "dry riverbed" look to leg
  • Deep cracks that may bleed
Although dry skin is usually harmless, if it's not cared for, dry skin may lead to:
  1. Atopic dermatitis (eczema). If you're prone to develop this condition, excessive dryness can lead to activation of the disease, causing a rash and cracking skin.
  2. Infections. Dry skin may crack, allowing bacteria to enter, causing infections.
Did you know dry skin is one the of easiest skin conditions that you can heal (depending on cause)? Put simply, be gentle and give your skin plenty of moisture.

Moisturize. Moisturizer seals in water to help keep your skin's protective barrier healthy. You need a moisturizer to suit your skins' needs. Use moisturizer throughout the day, especially on the hands. And before going outdoors, use a moisturizer that contains sunblock or a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours, or more often if you're swimming or sweating.

It's really important to find a moisturizer that suits your skins' needs. Once you find it, don't change it. Also, you need to create and maintain a routine of moisturizing your skin throughout the day. Don't ever allow your skin to dry out.

Moisturize Your Skin Throughout The Day

Limit water exposure. Keep bath and shower time to 10 minutes or less. Use warm, not hot, water. Rinse and pat dry. Try to bathe no more than once a day.

Use a gentle cleanser or allergen-free soap. Use a gentle cleansing/moisturizing soap or shower gel. If skin is severely dry, use fragrance-free or allergy-causing substances (hypoallergenic) products. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Apply a moisturizing lotion while your skin is still damp.

Rinse and moisturize after swimming. This is especially important if you've been swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool. Besides swimming in a pool for more than 10 minutes, chlorine can dry out your skin. Rinse your skin thoroughly after swimming. No need to use soap because you are clean but make sure you thoroughly moisturize your skin afterwards.

Rinse Your Skin After Swimming to Prevent Dry Skin

Stay hydrated. Drink when you're thirsty. Water and electrolytes are best but if you must indulge, drink non-caffeinated a beverages or low sugar drinks to help keep all your body's tissues, including your skin, well hydrated.

Stay hydrated to prevent dry skin

Now I know there are other causes and treatments for dry skin, but this blog was created to give you the basics. Many individuals are suffering from dry skin because they are using the wrong products and not being gentle. Remember, less is more when using the correct products/routine. This applies to your face and body and scalp.

So ask yourself, is there anything in this blog that you can do to relieve your dry skin? If so, leave me a comment below on what that is. If you have some techniques you can share that has worked for you (especially if dry skin has been caused by medications), let us know below.

Also, if there is a condition you would like more information on, let me know!

See you next week!

Beauty Mixtress™



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  • Shirley on

    For me my dry skin is seasonal (winter). One thing I started doing was applying the apricot/shea body oil while wet after showering, then dry off. It helps to seal moisture in my skin.


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