Dry skin

Dry skin is not an issue to worry about, but it can be annoying and unattractive.

Severe dry skin problems – an inherited disorder called ichthyosis – can cause disfigurement and much distress. Fortunately, dry skin is caused by environmental factors that can be at least partly controlled. These factors include hot or cold weather, low humidity, and hot baths.

Chronic or severe dry skin problems may require evaluation by a doctor who specializes in skin (dermatologist).




The signs and symptoms of dry skin depend on your age, health, where you live, how much time you spend outdoors, and the cause of the problem. Dry skin is likely to cause some of the following:


A feeling of tightness in the skin, especially after showering, bathing or swimming


Skin that looks and feels rough




Mild to severe peeling


Fine lines or cracks


Ash gray skin




Deep cracks that can bleed


Dry skin (xerosis) is usually the result of an environmental cause. Some diseases can also significantly affect the skin. Possible causes of dry skin include the following:


The skin tends to dry out in winter, when temperatures and humidity drop precipitously. But the season is irrelevant if you live in a desert climate.


Central heating, wood stoves, space heaters and fireplaces reduce moisture and dry out the skin.

Hot baths and showers

Taking hot showers or baths for a long time dries out the skin. Frequent swimming also dries the skin, especially in pools with a lot of chlorine.

Strong soaps and detergents

Many soaps, detergents and shampoos dry out the skin’s moisture because their formula is designed to remove the oil.

Other skin conditions

People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are susceptible to dry skin.


Generally, dry skin is harmless. However, when not taken care of, dry skin can cause the following:


Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

If you are susceptible to developing this condition, excessive dryness can trigger the disease and cause redness, cracking, and swelling.



Dry skin can crack; this allows bacteria to enter the body and cause infection.

These complications are more probable to appear when the skin’s normal protective mechanisms are severely compromised. For example, extremely dry skin can cause cracks or fissures; these can open up and bleed, providing a breeding ground for invading bacteria.


In most cases, dry skin responds well to lifestyle habits such as using moisturizers and avoiding hot, prolonged baths and showers. If you have very dry, scaly skin, your doctor may recommend that you use an nonprescription cream containing lactic acid or lactic acid and urea.

If you have a more serious skin condition, such as atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, or psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe prescription creams and ointments or other treatments in addition to home care.

Sometimes dry skin leads to dermatitis, which causes itchy, red skin. In these cases, treatment may include hydrocortisone lotions. If your skin cracks, your doctor may prescribe moist bandages to help prevent infection.

Home remedies

  • Moisturizes the skin.
  • Use warm water and limit the duration of the bath.
  • Avoid strong soaps or drying out the skin.
  • Apply moisturizing creams immediately after bathing.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Choose skin-friendly fabrics.


Vitamin A: It is also useful for the treatment of eczema, acne, and psoriasis among other diseases.

Vitamin B

Vitamin C: Protects against aging and repairs, to some extent, damage caused by the sun, or by a laser hair removal. It also helps the production of collagen in our skin.

Vitamin E: Treats facial stains caused by the passage of time, protects your skin against UVB rays, treats acne, as well as possible flaking or imperfections in the skin.

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