Dry skin, in the extreme conditions known as Xerodermatitis and Xerosis, which is a common skin condition. It mainly occurs due to lack of sufficient moisture or oils in the epidermis, the uppermost layer of the skin. This results in dry patches and small fine flakes on the skin.
Dry Skin is caused by both external and internal factors. External factors like- low humidity, cold temperatures, hot showers, over usage of harsh soaps and sanitizers can make the skin dry. While internal factors, such as age, genetics, and personal and family history of skin ailments like allergies, asthma, dermatitis also causes skin dryness. People suffering from thyroid disorders are also prone to dry skin.
The skin consists of 3 layers – Epidermis (outermost), dermis (middle) and hypodermis (innermost). Epidermis, the protective layer is composed of protein and lipid (fat). Lipid helps to keep the skin hydrated. When the skin loses the fatty oils it easily loses moisture and protection. This renders the skin dry, making the skin more sensitive to rashes and other problems (Xerosis).
Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, hives, etc., are the severe cases of DRY SKIN PROBLEMS
Dry Skin Allergy Symptoms:
Here are some symptoms of dry skin:
1. Rough Flaky Skin And Gray, Ashy Skin In People With Dark Complexion:
Dry skin, as said before, lacks natural fatty oils and moisture. This makes the skin rough, flaky, scaly and at times, hardened. Dandruff is one of the common ailments, which results from dry skin on the scalp. Dry skin flakes usually turn pale, peel off and shed on their own.
Itching can aggravate the severity of dry skin. It can lead to an “itch-scratch” cycle. This cycle is more when the person is not much conscious, like when he/she is engrossed in some important work, or during sleep etc.
other parts of the skin as well.
3. Chapped Or Cracked Lips, Palms, And Heels:
Chapped lips are the first symptom of the lack of water and moisture in the body. It can also be a sign of some kind of dysfunction in the body. Same is with cracked palms and heels. Though these are very common symptoms and occur mainly during winters, see a doctor in severe cases.
Dry Skin Allergy Treatments:
There are different treatments for dry skin depending on the condition and severity of the problem. Treatments can be both external and internal. Few treatments are:
Moisturizing is an external treatment. It involves frequent application of moisturizers on the problem skin area. Applying moisturizer on damp skin is more effective. In case of extremely dry skin, moisturizers containing urea or lactic acid are useful. These ingredients help the skin in holding and retaining the water and keeping the skin well hydrated. It is effective in not so very severe cases. Some of the moisturizers are – Vaseline, Aquaphor, Cetaphil lotion, Lubriderm Lotion, Crisco Vegetable Shortening etc. Topical steroid creams like hydrocortisone 1% cream, Pramosone 2.5% cream, Triamcinolone 0.1% cream, Clobetasol 0.05% cream may also be prescribed.
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If the condition of the skin gets worse, consulting a dermatologist is the best way forward. The dosage of the medicines depends on the severity of the case. If the condition is getting very severe, steroids may also be prescribed. Some of the oral medications are Hydroxyzine (Atarax), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Loratidine (Claritin).
3. Change In Lifestyle:
This the most important factor in cases of skin ailments. Most of the severe dry skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, etc., can be directly linked to unbalanced, unhealthy or stressful lifestyle. A person has to maintain healthy habits to avoid such kinds of ailments. One should avoid doing all such things which can trigger the problem or increase it. Like, if a person is allergic to some kind of environment or food which causes dry skin, he/she should avoid it. If pollution or cold is the reason, then one should keep the skin covered when going out.