ss_blog_claim=6cd73fab0d1dd89407889b31eb885dd3 ss_blog_claim=6cd73fab0d1dd89407889b31eb885dd3 Blog Directory Things I Did Not Know Before: I Have Very Dry Skin, Reasons and How to Treat It?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Have Very Dry Skin, Reasons and How to Treat It?

I have noticed that every time I come here in the UK, MY SKIN ALWAYS LOOKS AND FEELS VERY DRY! What do you think may be the reasons why? In Angola I always have very smooth and glowing skin. But what is it in this country which makes my skin very dull?

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and the organ that takes the roughest treatment. It is comprised of layers, with the outer layer being dead skin cells that are cast-off and replaced all the time and the inner (the working layer), containing blood supply, nerves, hairs and follicles and glands that produce oil called sebum, which exists to prevent the skin from drying out.

Signs and Symptoms - Dry skin is most commonly found on the face, hands, arms, legs and sides of the torso. It can start by feeling rough and itchy, leading to flaking of the skin, feeling scaly and may even develop into cracks and sores that bleed and are very painful.

...any idea from your own experiences?......

Apparently, I've managed to get some answers to my questions.

Risk factors and causes of dry skin

Various environmental factors can lead to a loss of moisture in the skin, resulting in dryness and/or coarseness. These may include:

  • Weather. Skin tends to become dry during winter or when temperatures and humidity levels drop. Winter and colder climates tend to make other existing skin conditions (e.g., psoriasis, eczema) worse, which may exacerbate dryness.

  • Excessive sun exposure. Like all types of heat, the sun has a drying effect on the skin. Plus, the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate deep within the epidermis causing long-term damage, which can lead to the formation of deep wrinkles and loose, sagging skin.
  • Air conditioning and/or central heating units. These appliances tend to draw moisture out of the air and out of the skin. Other moisture-depleting devices include wood burning ovens, space heaters and fireplaces.

Other factors leading to dry skin include:

  • Over-cleansing. Frequent showering or bathing, especially using hot water, tends to break down the lipid barriers in the skin, resulting in dryness. Also, frequent swimming, especially in heavily chlorinated pools, can lead to dry skin.

  • Harsh soaps and detergents (e.g., deodorant and anti-bacterial soaps). Products containing fragrances and lauryl sulfates are harsher and more irritating to the skin. Therefore, excessive use of these products can lead to a loss of moisture.

  • Alcohol, caffeine and drugs. Excessive alcohol and caffeine intake can deplete the body of water and lead to dry skin. Certain prescription drugs (e.g., diuretics to increase urine production) also have a drying effect.

  • Smoking cigarettes. Tobacco does not cause the skin to dry, but it does deprive it of oxygen, thereby leading to the formation of premature fine lines and wrinkles, which can give the skin a coarse, dry appearance.

  • Age. As people get older, the skin tends to become drier because the oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands) are less active. In addition, the shedding and renewal of cells in the skin’s stratum corneum – the top sublayer of the epidermis – slows down with age, resulting in a rough, dull complexion.

  • Gender. Even though everyone’s skin dries with age, in general men’s skin tends to retain moisture longer than women’s. Men experience a relatively small decrease in oil production until well into their 80s, whereas women’s skin tends to become much drier after menopause.

  • Not drinking enough water. Not drinking enough liquids can lead to dehydration, which can cause the body to lose more fluid than what is taken in. Dry skin is one of the first signs of dehydration.

  • Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies in certain fatty acids (e.g., omega-3), zinc and vitamin A can affect the moisture levels of the skin.

Treating Dry Skin

Try changing the washing powder or detergent used along with your cleansing agents used when bathing as these may be the cause of the dry skin.

The use of a moisturizer should help the cells of the skin become re-hydrated, if this is not sufficient, ask the advice of a pharmacist who will have knowledge on the products they stock and can help select an appropriate lotion or emollient. If these methods do not help to eliminate the problem, see your GP who will assess your complaint and may offer a medication that is only available on prescription such as a steroidal preparation; these can only offer temporary relief. Your GP may refer you to a skin specialist called a dermatologist who is an expert in skin care and can perform several tests to determine the reason for the problem.

Preventing Dry Skin

After bathing it is important to pat skin dry, not rub it as this can irritate the skin and cause flaking. The use of a good, thick, unscented moisturizer should be encouraged after bathing or even daily in the winter months or in hot climates.

Drinking plenty of water will help the cells of your body remain hydrated, lessening the risk of drying-out.

The use of a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15 is recommended when in the summer months, as harmful rays from the sun can damage the layers of the skin altering its function, and the heat from the sun can cause the cells to dehydrate.

Dry skin is a very common condition that affects many people. By understanding the issues surrounding the causes of dry skin, people become more aware of the need to prevent it or stop it from deteriorating.

1 comment:

  1. I have dry skin when its winter here dhangz... grabe kaayo, murag isda ko kay scaly kaayo ang skin pero pag summer Madz noh kay glowing and shinning ang skin nako hehehe


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