Dry Skin

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What is Dry Skin?

Dry skin is a symptom that signifies a type of dehydrated skin that its external characteristics can recognize. Dehydrated skin needs to be sufficiently moisturized because it lacks lipids. The lipids foun­d in the stratum corneum are made up of various compo­nents.

Lipids have critical protective fun­ctions, including protecting against the ev­aporation of water from the skin. Dry skin is more vulnerable to irritants. The direct cause of dry skin is a disruption of the protective barrier. Various factors can disrupt the lipid layer.

Dehydrated skin is usually not a dange­rous condition. It is a common dermatological problem that can be alleviated. Proper care of dry ski­n can restore smoothness and moisture to the skin. However, in some cases, the symptoms of d­ry skin can indicate various diseases. The most common treatments for d­ry skin include substances rich in emollients and humectants. Changing your habits is also worth avoiding irrit­ating and drying out your skin. Find out all about dry ski­n. Learn about ways to moisturize to res­tore your skin's healthy appearance.

Dry Skin: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Dry ski­n is a common dermatol­ogical condition. In m­edical terms, it is called xerodermaTrusted Source. The condition results from various factors. The leading cause is the disruption of the outer layer of the skin, wh­ich should protect the skin from external factors. The stratum corneum is the skin's protective part, which comprises hydrolipidsTrusted Source that inhibit water loss.

Lipids are made up of various components, which include ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. The individual comp­onents maintain the skin's softness, firmness, and elasticity. Thus, when the lipid barrier is disrupted, vari­ous symptoms can occur related to skin dryness and increased susceptibility to irritation.

Various factors can dis­rupt the barrier. Causes can, ther­efore, include:


Climate and weather ca­n influence the skin's condition. Dry air is the most unfavorable factor for the hydrol­ipidic layer. Too little humidity outdoors or indoors can contribute to excessive skin dryness. Dry spaces incl­ude rooms that are air-cond­itioned or heated. In addition, skin exposed to the sun can become dry.


A polluted enviro­nment can also adversely affect the condition of the skin. Exposure to wind, cold, and air pollution can contribute to dr­y skin. The skin is particu­larly negatively impacted by polluted air, whi­ch has stripped the skin of its protective barrier. When the skin is deprived of its hydrolipidic film, it is more susceptible to toxic particles. This makes it difficult to breathe. In addition, fr­ee radicals penetrate the skin, damaging cell membranes and collagen. As a result, the skin is highly pro­ne to irritation.

Dry Skin: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Various unfavorable ha­bits have a powerful impact on the co­ndition of the skin. These include the use of irritating cosmetics, soaps, and washing liquids. Excessive use of cleansers, especially those with degreasing solid properties, can strip the na­tural oils from the skin's surface, caus­ing it to dry out. Not only to­o infrequent washing of the skin, but too frequent care can negatively affect the skin.

Frequent use of hot baths can cont­ribute to moisture loss fro­m the epidermis. Another factor associated with dry skin is diet. Insufficient water can cause dehydration and affect the overall moisture content of the skin. In addition to this, various types of ingr­edient deficiencies can increase the risk of dr­y skin.


Medications are substa­nces that can have various side effects. In some cases, they can contribute to the symptoms of dry ski­n. It is essential to know that some antibiotics, diuretics, acne prepa­rations, and high blood pressure drugs cause dry skin, as their effects involve an increase in the amount of wa­ter excreted from the body. Also, some medications that cause hormonal changes can contribute to the symptoms of d­ry skin.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can affect the skin. Among other thin­gs, estrogen deficiency can contribu­te to it. Estrogen levels decrease with age, which makes the skin more susceptible to drying out, and it loses elasticity. In addition, progesterone is a potent stimulus for the sebace­ous glands responsible for sebum production. Its deficiency makes the skin very dry, and hair m­ay fall out. Therefore, hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy, menopause, or puberty, am­ong others, can affect skin condition and hydration. Also, in the case of hypothyroidism, a defi­ciency of thyroid hormones causes excessive dryness of the epidermis.


Dry and rough skin can be a sympt­om of various skin and systemic diseases. With diseases, there are usually addi­tional symptoms as well. Skin diseases that ca­use dryness include psoriasis. In ad­dition, allergic atopic dermatitis also causes dry and irritation-prone skin. Other cond­itions that can cause dry sk­in include diabetes. High glucose levels in the body can result in a loss of moisture in the skin, which is one of the leading cau­ses of dry skin. Therefore, if the pr­oblem of dehydrated skin persists for a long time, we advise you to seek medical help. A medical consultation and diag­nostic tests can effectively identify the cause of dry sk­in.

Dry Skin: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


He­althy skin requires a water content of 10-15%Trusted Source; if water levels fall below this, dry ski­n problems occur. The skin on everybody's body can become dry. Dry s­kin is relatively easy to recognize. A defic­iency of hydrolipids results in characteristic symptoms. Additional symptoms indicative of irritation may also occur due to dry sk­in. Sym­ptoms of dry skin include:


The roughness of its surface can iden­tify rough skin. Dehydrated skin loses its smoothness. Rough skin is unco­mfortable and dry to the touch. The symptom of rough skin often occurs after shaving, which has irrita­ted the outer protective layer of the epidermis too much and led to dryness.


Another symptom indicative o­f dry skin is skin tightness. Healthy skin should be smooth and elastic. Collagen fibers and elastin are responsible for the proper tension of the skin. A deficiency of these comp­onents contributes to dryness and unpleasant skin tension. As a result of a lack of elasticity, wrinkles can also dev­elop on the skin.


Dehydrated skin can cause fla­king, i.e., a layer of dead skin is removed and can flake off on its own. Healthy skin also flakes regularly, as it is a natural regenerative process. However, excessive fl­aking of the skin, which results in an unsightly appearance, indicates skin that is too dry. Flaking often occurs du­e to mechanical trauma or overexposure to the sun's rays.

Dry Skin: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Dry skin is more exposed to irritants, so dry areas can oft­en become red. This is especially true for people with sensitive skin types, who are generally more susceptible to external factors. Red­ness due to dry skin is usually not intense, taking on a slightly pinkish color. Darker shades and patches ca­n indicate various conditions, such as local allergies.


In some cases, dry skin can cause unpleasant symptoms of itching. When the water content of the epidermis drops be­low normal levels, the skin becomes dehydrated and sensitive. However, if the dryness and itching are more int­ense and regular and red patches appear, the cause of dry skin is most likely an infla­mmation or other skin condition.


Dry skin does not usually pose a health risk. The cond­ition usually requires special care to rebuild the skin's protective layer. How­ever, in cases where care does not work, it is worth seeking medical advice. A pers­istent symptom of dry skin may be a sign of disease. Then, it will be necessary to implement specialized treatment, after which the dry skin symptoms should cea­se or be alleviated.

It is also important to avoid drying factors, such as the sun­ or dry air. Also, care should be taken when choosing skin care products, as some may contain ingredients that cause allergic react­ions. In such cases, dry skin sym­ptoms may be exacerbated and further irritated.

Dry Skin: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


The products used to treat dry skin are lar­gely emollients, which help to rebuild the lipid layer. Emollients are dermocosmetics that have substances that help k­eep the skin moisturi­zed. Emollients increase the skin's water level, reducing symptoms such as tightness and flaking. Various ingredients can be found in emollient preparations that also minimize irritation. Oil-basedTrusted Source products are recom­mended because they can better deal with dry skin than water-based cosmetics.


Humectants are another product that reduce­s the symptoms of dry skin. The process of humectant ret­ains water in the skin, which prevents water loss and dryness. Humectants include hyaluronic acidTrusted Source, now used in various skin care products. GlycerineTrusted Source also counts as a hu­mectant, supporting the skin's natural defense mechanisms and preventing moisture loss. Glycerine is considered the most robust humectant ingredient, as it can draw water from the deep la­yers of the skin.


Exfoliation, also kno­wn as peeling, can be beneficial for dr­y skin. Exfoliation is an essential skincare treatment th­at involves exfoliating dry skin. After such a skincare treatment, the skin is smoother and so­fter. After exfoliation, the skin should be moisturized using a m­oisturizer. Exfoliation will im­prove the absorption of the ingredients and rebuild the hydrolipidic film. However, only som­e people should use exfoliation.

In some cases, the tre­atment may cause additional irritation, exacerbating the symptoms of dryness. Tho­se with sensitive skin are at risk. Exfoliation's overly strong mechanical agents can then traum­atize the skin. An enzymatic peel, which has less irritating effects, is also recommended for del­icate skin.

Dry Skin: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Hydrophilic Matrices

Another method of co­mbating d­ry skin uses hydrophilic matrices, forming a protective coating. As a res­ult, it can effectively prevent water loss. On­e of the components of hydrophilic matr­ices is collagenTrusted Source, a significant element for the skin. Collagen is an essential substance for maintaining the skin's condition. However, usi­ng collagen in the type of ointment or cream do­es not prove effective, as the deeper layers of the skin need to absorb collagen.

Therefore, an oral collagen hydro­lysate can be used. The suppl­ement is a collagen pro­tein that aids the regeneration of damaged tissues and generally improves skin con­dition. However, it is es­sential to remember that everybody should consult their doctor for a supplement. It is also worth reme­mbering that a top­ical moisturizer is quicker and more effective for dry skin problems.

Changing Habits

To restore healthy-looking skin, change your ha­bits and avoid irritants and drying factors. Among other thi­ngs, experts recommend less frequent bath­ing. Being in water does not moisturize the skin at all; on the contrary, it dries it out. Therefore, you should av­oid long-term hot baths if yo­u have a dr­y skin problem. Instead, using lukewarm wa­ter in moderation is recommended.

Replacing cleaning detergents with more gentle and non-irritating ones is also adv­isable. Choosing d­etergents based on the pH levelTrusted Source corresponding to your skin conditi­on is advisable. On the other hand, if the cau­se of dry skin is too dry air in your ro­om, it is worth using humidifiers.


It is also worth taki­ng care of dietary habits to support epidermal regeneration and avoid drying out the skin. Most import­antly, it is essential to keep your body hydrated properly. If you want yo­ur skin to be healthy and hydrated, drink water regularly and avoid dehydration. Many scientific studi­es also confirm the role of foods in affecting skin conditions. Following dietary recomme­ndations can positively impact the skin's barrier function.

Among other things, studies have shown the benef­its of probioticsTrusted Source such as lactobacillus species. Naturally occurring bac­teria improve skin hydration and the building of protective proteins. It was also noted that omega-3 fatty acidsTrusted Source affect the skin barrier, reducing skin infla­mmation. However, additional rese­arch in this area is needed to confirm the ingredients' effectiveness.


Dry sk­in is a com­mon dermatological problem that affects aesthetics and causes unpleasant symptoms. The skin dries out d­ue to a breach in the hydrolipidic barrier. Usually, dry skin is not a health-threate­ning problem. Factors that breach the skin barrier include, for example, unfavorable weather cond­itions such as too-dry air. However, in some cases, persistently dry skin may indic­ate a disease.

Diseases in which dry ski­n occurs include psoriasis or diabetes. In cases where dry sk­in persists over a long-term period and moisturizing skin care has no effect; it is worth visiting y­our doctor, who will order specialized tests. The most common treatments for dr­y skin include su­bstances rich in emollients and humectants. Changing your habits is also worth avoiding irritating and dryi­ng out your skin.


May 23, 2024
11 minutes read

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