Dry skin is a common skin ailment of people especially during cold weather. Moisture is usually stripped off from your skin causing scaly, itchy and sometimes reddish integumentary system. Dry skin is commonly seen in areas that are frequently exposed such as the hands, legs, face and arms in which air current can strip the moisture in these areas. Dry skin is also commonly seen in older people because the larger pores allow moisture and oil to escape and the number of sebaceous glands also lessens as we age.

Causes of Dry Skin

Aside from cold weather and aging, dry skin can also be caused by other factors such as the presence of body fat. The amount of body fat plays a role on skin hydration because the lesser body fat you have on your skin, the drier your skin becomes. Also, genes have a role in skin dryness. Dry skin is usually seen to be present among families. Poor hydration may also be a factor in that dehydration may lead to dryness of the skin and mucous membranes. The use of irritating and drying soaps is also a major cause of dry skin. Other causes may include a warm indoor climate and excessive exposure to the sun.

How Can I Manage Dry Skin?

Dry skin is one of the most common skin ailments and it is also one of the easiest to manage. Both preventive and treatment options for dry skin is important to ensure a properly hydrated skin.

Prevention of Dry Skin

Prevention is the first step to cope with dry skin. Preventive measures include:

• Avoid over washing of the skin. Washing the skin more than twice a day removes the natural oils in the skin causing dryness. Make sure to wash your skin at most twice a day.

• Use hypoallergenic and hydrating soaps. Beauty soaps need to be mild and moisturizing in order to keep the skin supple and moisturized.

• Dab your skin dry. When drying the skin, make sure to dub it and not to rub because friction from rubbing may cause dryness and irritation.

• Ensure proper ventilation in your home. Aside from cold weather, a dry and warm weather may also cause the skin moisture to evaporate faster. Open windows during hot weather.

• Avoid too much sun exposure. Sun exposure is actually the number one cause for wrinkles due to skin dryness. Never go out when the sun is shining so hot above you and make sure to wear sun protection.

Treatments of Dry Skin

When dry skin is already present, the following treatments may help you cope with the dryness:

• Use moisturizing creams and lotions. Applying water-based creams and lotions may help soothe the dryness immediately. Make sure to apply them regularly and wash your skin before sleeping to remove dirt and oil that has accumulated in your skin from the moisturizers. During summer, water-based creams are best and during winter, oil-based creams can be used.

• Use skin cleansers with ceramide. This substance is actually a fat molecule that helps keep the skin moisturized and humid.

• Apply Aloe Vera gel. Aside from moisturizers, you may apply Aloe Vera in your arms and legs for added moisture. Aloe Vera contains high amounts of vitamin E that keeps the skin healthy and promotes healing of dry skin.

• Drink plenty of fluids. Adults should ensure to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day for proper hydration of cells, including the skin.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body so you might keep it healthy as well through proper hydration. Remember that a healthy and hydrated skin creates a natural glow in you so managing dry skin is essential.