15 March 2019

What is dry skin?

For the majority of people, having dry skin can feel slightly uncomfortable. Unfortunately, for some people, dry skin can become a frustrating, painful problem which affects every aspect of their life. While many expect to get dry skin in the winter months as we crank up the central heating, some also experience it in the summer months from a pollen allergy, especially when hay fever is rife. There are different types of dry skin, with various causes and solutions.

Dry skin causes

Your skin is formed of many layers of skin cells, and what keeps these cells in check is your skin’s natural oil, also known as sebum. This natural oil helps to not only keep your skin cells healthy but also trap water. If your sebum is washed away or lacking, then you will start to notice the signs of dry skin, which include flaking skin, itchiness and an uncomfortable dryness. As mentioned, cold weather and allergies can cause dry itchy skin, but so can taking prolonged hot baths and showers. While these can feel indulgent and pleasant in the short term, they may be making your symptoms worse. You may begin to notice dry skin on face, red dry patches on skin or rough spots on other parts of your body.

What is dry skin?

Is it the same as dehydrated skin?

While both involve a loss of moisture from the skin, dehydration relates to the lack of water, not oil. You’ll know if you suffer from dehydration if your skin often looks ashy or papery. In fact, skin can be dehydrated as well as dry, as it’s possible to be lacking in sebum as well as water, which is found in the Stratum Corneum. If you feel tightness and tenderness to your skin after drying yourself, this could be dehydration.

When does it become a problem?

Problem dry skin is when your symptoms become severe and start affecting your day-to-day comfort. Sometimes these severe symptoms can be the result of medical conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. For eczema-prone skin, you may want to consider using our specially formulated Mildly Medicated Dry Skin Cream to help soothe and improve the appearance of your symptoms. Letting symptoms get worse can lead to dry cracked skin, which can lead to the risk of infections. Itching on top of this can be particularly irritating and painful. If your dry skin is this uncomfortable and irritated, you should contact your doctor and start using specialised cream for extremely dry skin.

How to help dry skin

If you want to know how to get rid of dry skin, there are few things you can try first. If you’re the main person who does the washing-up in your household, then it’s a good idea to put on some rubber gloves, as dunking your hands in hot soapy water won’t be doing your skin any good. Ensuring your showers and baths aren’t too hot and soapy will also help prevent your symptoms from getting worse. Using our Mildly Medicated lotion for dry skin or our Mildly Medicated powder to help soothe any itching and sore spots will also prevent you from aggravating the affected area, with 87% of users reporting both improvement and soothing after 28 days.

“Ensuring your showers and baths aren’t too hot and soapy will also help prevent your symptoms from getting worse.”

If you’re unsure about the cause of your dry skin, it’s always wise to arrange a visit to your GP to find out more. In the meantime, using topical creams and lotions to calm the appearance and any discomfort are the best ways to manage extremely dry skin.

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