The itching and flaking that come with dry skin are typically associated with winter weather, but dry skin can happen at any time. Whether it’s a hot day at the beach or a chilly night out in the snow, dry skin can strike at any time. And although dry skin isn’t usually a severe or life-threatening issue, it can be uncomfortable and indicate health problems.
As people age, the skin becomes drier, thinner, less plump, and loses its elasticity. As hormones change, oil glands diminish, and decreased cell renewal causes the skin to become prone to dryness and itching. The top layers of skin become dryer as the older people get, and the skin also becomes much more prone to infection. When there’s insufficient moisture within skin cells, dry skin occurs.
9. Causes of Dry Skin
Keeping skin clean is a vital part of staying healthy, but sometimes too much cleansing can cause the skin to become dry and cracked. Washing skin might remove dirt, germs, and grime, but it also takes away healthy bacteria and oils that keep the skin moisturized. Soaps and cleansers can also be harsh on the skin, causing the skin to crack and itch.
Dry patches of skin may also occur due to medical conditions or medications. Psoriasis, for example, appears as red or silvery patches of dry skin due to an immune system issue. Eczema, another dry skin condition, happens when the top layer of skin lacks the protein necessary to keep it moisturized. Acne treatments and antihistamine medications can also foster conditions that lead to dry skin. In these cases, if dry skin persists, it’s best to check with a physician.
When it comes to skin, the moisture in the air matters more than if the air temperature is hot or cold. Dry, hot air can be just as damaging to the skin as dry cold air. Low humidity levels cause moisture to evaporate from the skin, leaving the skin dry, chapped, and wrinkled. It’s not just the climate or weather that can affect the skin; indoor air can also lead to dry skin. Air conditioning systems, especially, tend to remove indoor moisture from the air and cause the skin to dry out.
Moisture is integral to having healthy skin. The outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis, mirrors the moisture of the air surrounding it. If the air surrounding the skin is dry, the epidermis will also tend to be parched. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and alleviate dry skin. The following are eight methods you can use to keep skin hydrated.
8. Limit Baths and Showers
Keeping your skin clean is imperative, but hour-long baths aren’t necessary. A short five to 10-minute shower is sufficient to cleanse the skin without stripping it of its precious oils. Despite how great a hot shower feels on a cold day, hot water can remove the skin’s natural protectants. A short, lukewarm shower does the job without harming the skin and saves on water and energy, too!