Dry skin is a common skin related concern that almost all of us have dealt with. There can be various causes for dry skin. Some of them include usage of harsh soaps and chemicals, certain skin conditions, medical conditions such as diabetes and changes in the weather. Summers can be really hard on the skin. With excessive heat, our skin suffers from dehydration and lack of moisture. Dry skin or xerosis, can affect to different degrees. Some people have mild symptoms such as dryness that can be addressed with regular use of moisturizers. While for others, the extent of dry skin can be severe causing the skin to crack and get infected. It isn’t easy to deal with fish-like scales on the skin. Most people with severe dryness find themselves uncomfortable in social gatherings. Continuous itching and breaking of the skin keep them bothering in day to day life as well. A dermatologist is the right person to assess the extent of dryness and prescribe the right course of treatment. Dry skin treatment ranges from home remedies to store bought medications and cosmetic procedures depending on the person’s condition.

Major causes of dry skin

  • Exposure to extreme hot or cold weather
  • Harsh personal care products such as soaps and body wash
  • Excessive scrubbing and cleaning of the skin
  • Health issues such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, dermatitis and eczema

Know your skin type

It is very important to understand one’s skin type to help in proper care. In general, skin types can be classified into normal, dry, oily and combination. Individuals with oily skin must ensure that they choose lighter moisturizers as their skin naturally produces excess sebum or oil. The sebum production is low in the dry skin type and thick products suit best. A combination skin type is when an individual has different skin type such as dry or oily on different parts of the body.

Let’s take a look at the best treatment options for dry skin and how to lower its severity.

The Natural Treatment of Dry Skin includes:

 

  • Choose the right body-care products

It is important to choose the right products for your skin based on your skin type. If you naturally have a dry skin, it is important to choose products that are more nourishing and moisturizing. On the other hand, if you are someone with oily skin, products that are light would be the better option. Extreme dry skin can be treated well with creams that are heavier. If you are someone with combination skin, you need to choose products catering to specific parts of your body. It is also better to choose soaps that are mild and free of harsh chemicals.

  • Reduce duration of bath

Long baths can actually do more harm than good. It is advisable to keep baths as short as 10-15 minutes. The more time spent scrubbing and cleaning would mean loss of moisture from the body. It is also important to apply moisturizing lotions immediately after bath in order to prevent the skin from drying out and cause itching. Moreover, moisturizers work best when applied on damp skin.

  • Avoid scratching the skin

Dry skin can cause the skin to itch. The more a person suffers from itching, the chances are that more breaking and dryness is caused. If a person experiences itching, an ice pack could help to relieve the symptom. Itchy dry skin can be treated well with appropriate skin care products that are heavy on oil and fats.

  • Choose the right clothing

Breathable clothing such as cotton are best for the skin. Depending on the weather and the type of climate in your locality, one must choose clothing that is comfortable and not too tight. Wool, polyester and nylon must be avoided as much as possible.

  • Good intake of water

Having enough amount of water regularly can improve the skin elasticity. Promoting body’s own proteins such as collagen and elastin is the ideal way of improving skin health. Regular water consumption of 2 to 3 liters can give glowing and pigment-free skin.

  • Balanced and nutritious diet

A nutrient rich diet that is high on fibers (fruits and vegetables) and proteins and a moderate amount of carbs can ensure good skin. Vitamin A, B, C, D and E are essential vitamins for preventing dry skin.

  • Regular skin care routine

Flawless skin does not happen easily. Everybody with a naturally glowing and shiny skin, do spend ample time in skin care. One could adapt to home remedies such as natural packs and scrubs for rejuvenating the skin. The results are definitely in being consistent. A regular skin care can help beat the harsh effects that weather can do on the skin.

Extreme dry skin must be appropriately consulted with a dermatologist who would prescribe moisturizers that are salicylic or hydrocortisone based. Some of the best moisturizers for dry skin include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin E, ceramides, oatmeal and other essential components.

To choose the best face wash for dry skin, one must be aware of what to check. It is important to ensure that the product is pH balancing. Our skin naturally has a pH of 5.5. The face wash must ensure that the natural sebum, lactic and amino acids are not lost from the skin. A mild and natural cleanser will be the best option.

The best face cream for dry skin would be one that is thick and oil-based. It is important to buy products that are fragrance free and have very little chance of reactions on the skin. Dry skin around the eyes can be due to harsh products that are used around the eyes for makeup. A good hydrating moisturizer can be helpful in treating dry skin under the eyes and around the nose. Liquid based cleansers are a great way of treating dry skin on the face.

Treating dry skin in acne prone individuals can be quite challenging. A dermatologist would prescribe products such as retinoids and peels that help with acne reduction and maintain the skin health. Acne is usually caused due to excess production of sebum. The best acne treatment for dry skin would include cleansers, liquid based face wash, toners and light creams/moisturizers.

Dry skin is also a common concern among newborns. Dry skin in babies can be due to the higher skin sensitivity and peeling of the vernix. Newborn dry skin can be treated with moisturizers that are light, chemical free and not scented. Consultation with a pediatrician is a must for newborn skin dryness.

FAQ

 

  1. What can I do for extremely dry skin?

Dry skin can be treated with regular home based care such as application of coconut oil, moisturizers, scrubs (honey, oatmeal, curd, lemon), good water intake and nutritional diet. Extremely dry skin should be consulted with a dermatologist and appropriate lotion, creams and scrubs must be used. Topical retinoids, peels (deep peel, medium peel, superficial peels), botox and fillers (collagen or hyaluronic acid) can be used to treat extremely dry skin and rejuvenate it.

  1. Which medicine is best for dry skin?

Hydrocortisone, salicylic acid, ammonium lactate or urea based creams and lotions are commonly used to treat dry skin.

  1. What vitamin deficiency can cause dry skin?

Vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E and vitamin A are essential for a glowing and healthy skin. All the vitamins mentioned are very essential to prevent skin related concerns such as redness, itching, dry skin and acne. Vitamin B deficiency particularly can cause a lot of problems such as scaly or flaky skin, redness, itching, acne, wrinkles and chapped lips. Food such as fish, leafy greens, milk, egg, cheese, meat and legumes are good sources of vitamin B. One could take vitamin supplements too to get a dose of these essential vitamins.

  1. What causes skin dryness?

There are a variety of reasons for skin dryness. Some of the primarily reasons include weather changes (summer and winter), harsh soaps and chemical based skin care products, inappropriate skin care, vitamin deficiency (especially vitamin D and B), certain skin conditions (dermatitis, eczema and others) and medical issues such as diabetes.

  1. Does drinking water help dry skin?

Drinking sufficient water on a daily basis can improve health. Water is an essential component for the wellbeing of our skin and body. However, water cannot be considered as the sole remedy to treat dry skin. A person who consumes enough water might not see a difference in the skin even if the water consumption is increased substantially. Drinking water can be seen as an aid to better skin but a person who suffers from dry skin must also consider other treatment options such as lotions and peels.

  1. How do you hydrate your skin overnight?

It would take at least a couple of weeks to see the difference in one’s skin and would not happen overnight. To hydrate the skin one must:

  • Apply a good moisturizer on a regular basis
  • Avoiding excessive use of soaps and harsh products
  • Applying a lotion immediately after bath when the skin is still damp
  • Maintain an optimal temperature of the water during showers
  • Optimal use of masks and sunscreen products
  • Good intake of food and water
  1. Why is my skin so dry even when I moisturize and drink water?

Dry skin produces lack of sebum (oil from the sebaceous glands) which naturally makes it difficult to treat it. A thick cream that is oil based is essential to improve the skin. Some other reasons for tough dry skin include genetics and environmental exposure. A cosmetologist would be able to analyze and suggest appropriate medications.

  1. How can I hydrate my skin fast?

Natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and argan oil have a good chance at treating dry skin. Regular exfoliation of the skin is also essential to prevent dry skin and promote hyfration. Face masks based out of natural products such as oatmeal, honey and milk skin are also a great way of hydrating the skin.

  1. Is coconut oil good for very dry skin?

Coconut oil is rich in natural saturated fat and can act as an essential moisturizer for dry skin. These healthy fatty acids can treat moderate dry skin efficiently.

  1. Which oil is best for dry skin?

Coconut, argan, olive, jojoba and sunflower based oils are very effective in treating dry skin.

  1. Why coconut oil is bad for your skin?

Coconut oil is not really bad for the skin. What is important is that you must choose it based on your skin type. Individuals with oily skin would see acne breakouts from the use of coconut oil. It would clog the pores and cause more harm to the skin.

  1. What vitamin helps dry skin?

Vitamins such as A, B, C, D and E are essential for good skin. Vitamin C particularly has the ability to improve production of collagen which is an essential protein for youthful skin.

  1. Which is the best moisturizer for dry skin?

Hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid based products are essential in hydrating and moisturizing the skin.

  1. Is coconut oil moisturizing or drying?

Coconut oil is moisturizing to the skin because of the high content of essential fatty acids (80-90%) in them.

  1. How do you fix dry skin?

Dry skin can be fixed by consistent skin care. Including moisturizers, masks and gentle scrubs are a great start to see results. The right choice of skin care products and routine is an essential to get rid of dry and flaky skin.

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