Dry skin can be itchy, uncomfortable and embarrassing. Mild cases of dry skin are characterized by slight flaking and tightness of the skin, while severe cases can be recognized by cracking, bleeding, and severe tightness and itching. Unless you guard against it, you can be prone to dry skin, especially as you grow older. Why? Your skin becomes less flexible as you age. This means it cannot retain as much moisture when you were younger.
When your skin becomes dull, red, flaky and itchy, it usually means the natural oils on its surface that serve as protective coating have been removed. What are some of the factors that cause this to happen?
Who does not love the outdoors? Unfortunately, the environment is not as favorable as it used to be. Going out in extreme weather conditions (too hot or too cold) requires adequate protection of the skin. Here are two of the natural causes of skin drying.
- Exposure to the sun – With the occurrence of global warming, the sun’s harsh rays have become harmful to the skin. Sunburn strips the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry. Sunburned skin is both painful and itchy.
- Extremely cold weather – During winter months, the air is dry and humidity is low. These factors prohibit the normal production of oils that protect the skin. Without adequate moisturizers, your skin becomes prone to cracking.
Health and Habits
Your personal habits and general health condition are also factors that may cause your skin to dry.
- Long hot baths – Just as when you expose yourself to the sun, taking long hot baths dries the skin. Hot water opens your skin pores. The longer they remain open, the more they release moisture, causing the skin to contract. Without natural oils to protect it, your skin will become dry.
- Smoking – The skin is the biggest organ of the body. Smoking can cause harm to the skin and other organs because it depletes the body of vitamin C, which helps keep the skin healthy. Even passive smokers can suffer from dry skin due to exposure to cigarette smoke.
- Excessive use of soap – Do you love to lather up when taking a bath? Beware! Soaps with deodorizing and antibacterial properties usually contain harmful ingredients that may cause skin to dry. Better to use a deodorant-free and fragrance-free soap with natural ingredients.
- Lack of essential nutrients – A diet lacking in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids will definitely cause skin to dry. Therefore, have sufficient essential lipids, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin A.
- Drugs – While drugs alleviate symptoms of particular health conditions, there are certain drugs that may cause skin to dry, such as diuretics, antihistamines and isotretinoin, which is used to treat acne.
- Medical conditions – Diseases and disorders, such as end-stage renal disease, diabetes, biliary disorders, hyperparathyroidism and Hodgkin’s disease, may lead to skin drying. The impairment of organ functions eventually affects cell regeneration and tissue repair.