Dry skin or skin dryness is one of the common problems of the skin, aside from pimples or acne. A person with dry skin may just be in need moisture or he may be dehydrated. With the absence of moisture, the skin may be prone to skin breakdown secondary to trauma, which may lead to infection if unmanaged. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for skin dryness.
Along with lack of moisture in the person’s skin, skin dryness has various causes. According to Web MD, these include winter weather, steamy showers, moisture-robbing soaps, the rub-down, losing shower moisture, aging, chemical irritants, and several medical conditions, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid gland, and diabetes mellitus.
Signs and Symptoms
Dry skin presents a number of symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic, these include a feeling of skin tightness (particularly after shower or bath), skin that looks and feels rough, pruritus or itching, fine lines or cracks, gray or ashy skin, redness, deep cracks that may bleed, and mild to severe scaling, slaking, or peeling. As per the publication, medical consult is necessary if dry skin is accompanied by redness, itching interferes with sleeping, sores or infections are present, skin is scaling or peeling, and if the skin does not improve despite the person’s efforts.
Dry skin treatment usually includes the use of skin moisturizers and over-the-counter cream, along with lifestyle measures like avoidance of long showers and baths. However, home remedies may also be applied to manage the condition.
One remedy for dry skin is olive oil. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, olive oil has antioxidants and healthy fatty acids that contribute to the health of the skin. Also, antioxidants help the body get rid of unwanted chemicals or substances like toxins and free radicals. This way, the oil helps soothe skin dryness. To do the remedy, as per the publication, the person dabs a thin layer of olive oil before applying the regular moisturizer. Another option is by mixing olive oil, honey, and fine brown sugar. Then, the resulting mixture is scrubbed on the person’s dry skin using light and circular motions. After that, the person takes a shower and applies a light moisturizer.
Milk also helps manage dry skin by relieving its itchiness. According to University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine – Philadelphia Department of Dermatology assistant clinical professor Susan Taylor, MD, as cited by Prevention, the person goes to the refrigerator and gets a quart of milk and pours it into a bowl of basin. Then, he dips a washcloth or a piece of gauze in the cold milk, and applies it to the skin for five minutes. Taylor said that milk had anti-inflammatory properties that often took the itch away, adding that it stopped the itch-scratch cycle.
Another remedy for dry skin is sea salt. According to the Reader’s Digest Association, as cited by Live Strong, adding a cup of sea salt to a tub of warm water and soaking for at least 20 minutes helps nourish extremely dry skin. To prepare, the person combines a cup of coarse sea salt with one-fourth cup of vegetable glycerin. As per the publication, the mixture is rubbed over the skin in a circular fashion, before rinsing it with warm water. It is followed by oil-based moisturizer for best results. However, it should not be used if the person has open wounds due to painful or burning sensation.
Overall, some people experience skin dryness, which indicate lack of moisture and/or dehydration. Thus, it is best to keep the skin moisturized and if necessary, seek medical consult from a health professional for proper assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.