What is Dry Skin?

Feel Good / Health

What is Dry Skin?

This is what’s really going on with your skin in the winter.

The Basics

Dry skin, also known as xerosis, can appear anywhere on the body and is characterized by skin that looks flaky and rough, and feels tight and itchy. Rarely serious, dry skin can still look unpleasant and cause embarrassment, particularly when it develops on the face. Mildly dry skin can rob the complexion of its luster and cause dull skin, while severely dry skin may cause white, scaly patches and lead to the early formation of lines and wrinkles.

 

The Science

Healthy skin gets its soft, supple texture from its water content, as well as from a thin coating of natural lipids. Dry skin results when there is a reduction of water content and lipids in the stratum corneum–the outermost layer of the epidermis mostly consisting of several layers of dead skin cells–leaving behind visible dry skin patches. Environmental factors, certain health concerns, or even a genetic predisposition can cause this depletion of water content and lipids.

 

Why We Get it

Often, these dry patches on your face can flare up despite moisturizing and practicing a good skincare routine. Causes of dry skin range from changes in the weather to medical conditions. Aging women are particularly susceptible to having dry skin because as we grow older, facial skin thins and has more difficulty retaining moisture. Women who are also experiencing hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause may also suffer from this skin type.

 

How to Fix it

Left untreated, dry skin can lead to inflammation (dermatitis), redness, and infection. The good news is that for most people, dry skin relatively is easy to prevent and treatments are generally external. So don’t give up and resign yourself to a life of uncomfortably dry skin–the solution may be much easier than you think.

Still wondering why your skin is so dry? Learn the 6 most common causes of dry skin >

 

What is dryness?
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Disclaimer: The information on this website and any related links are for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, contact a professional healthcare provider.


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