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Improving dry skin – Tribune Online

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While humans experience dry skin at particular periods due to circumstances like weather, dry environment, frequently washing hands, inadequate hydration, swimming in a chlorinated pool or jobs that are rough on the hands or ailments, some people battle with skin dryness perpetually and have to contend with other issues as a result of dryness of the skin.

Dry skins usually appear rough with cracks, flakes or scales and is not necessarily caused by underlying disease.

Dry skin, also called xerosis or xeroderma, is usually itchy and affects people of all ages. Major causes include harsh toiletries, extreme hot or cold weather, over bathing, Sun damage or adverse reaction to medication or skin care products.

And when dry skin is a seasonal occurrence, managing it is easier as causes are easily identifiable but symptoms vary from one individual to the other depending on peculiar circumstances like environment or routine.

Dry skin is usually associated with symptoms like slight to severe flaking skin, which causes the ashy look that can affect dry brown and black skin, scaling or peeling, lines and cracks on the skin, skin tightness, rough look and itchiness, deep cracks that lead to bleeding as well as broken and scarred heels.

The major solution to seasonal skin dryness is lifestyle changes and some basic home remedies but for perpetual skin dryness, there may be need for dermatological care in addition to lifestyle changes and basic home remedies. It is important to note however that when symptoms persist even after care, it may be a sign of more serious issues.

When skin dryness distract you from daily routine, makes you uncomfortable, leads to open sores and infection as a result of scratching, there is massive skin peeling and scaling or skin becomes inflamed or painful as a side effect of cancer treatment or other health challenges, the best step is to get professional help.

The basic cause of skin dryness is loss of water from the outer layer of skin as a result of heat an other extreme weather conditions like cold, windy environment, humidity, over scrubbing, too much hot showers, harsh soaps and other beauty products as well as other skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis are more likely to have dry.

Aging also causes dry skin because as one gets old, the skin thins and produces less of the required oils needed for the skin to retain water.

People over 40 are more vulnerable to dry skin conditions as the skin’s ability to retain moisture diminishes with age.

Medical conditions like diabetes and  malnutrition as well as complications from ailments also lead to dry skin.

While dry skin is usually harmless except for cosmetic reasons, not taking care of it may have diverse consequences depending on the skin type, profession and environment of the person affected.

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For people who are prone to eczema, excessive dryness can lead to outbreak of the disease.

Simple steps to curb skin dryness and retain skin moisture includes moisturising the skin to seal in water and keep the skin’s protective barrier healthy. Use moisturizer throughout the day, a moisturizer that contains sunblock or a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days is better used generously.

Limit water exposure, don’t spend too long in the bath. Avoid hot water, only use warm water to bath. Do not over scrub.

Use a gentle cleanser or allergen-free soap. Avoid harsh body products.

Cover as much skin as possible in cold or windy weather.

Drink when you’re thirsty.


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