Severe Dry Skin
Dry skin may be a mild, temporary condition lasting a few days to weeks. Dry skin may also become a more severe, long-term skin problem for some. Symptoms of dry skin include discomfort from skin tightness and itching. In addition, external factors such as weather can affect the severity of skin dryness. For example, cold or dry air and winter weather can worsen dry skin. Individuals whose occupations require more frequent hand-washing and sanitizing may experience dry skin more often. Dry skin may also be a side effect of some medications.
Severe Dry Skin
Exposure to dry weather conditions, hot water, and certain chemicals can cause your skin to dry out. Dry skin can also result from underlying medical conditions. Dermatitis is the medical term for extremely dry skin. There are several different types of dermatitis, including: irritant contact allergic contact seborrheic atopic Contact dermatitis develops when your skin reacts to something it touches, causing localized inflammation. Irritant contact dermatitis can occur when your skin is exposed to an irritating chemical agent, such as bleach. Allergic contact dermatitis can develop when your skin is exposed to a substance you’re allergic to, such as nickel. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs when your skin produces too much oil. It results in a red and scaly rash, usually on your scalp. This type of dermatitis is common in infants. Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. It’s a chronic skin condition that causes dry scaly patches to appear on your skin. It’s common among young children. Other conditions, such as psoriasis and type 2 diabetes, can also cause your skin to dry out.
Severe Dry Skin
Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterized by a lack of the appropriate amount of water in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. While dry skin tends to affect males and females equally, older individuals are typically much more prone to dry skin. The skin in elderly individuals tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. Areas such as the arms, hands, and particularly lower legs tend to be more affected by dry skin. Dryness of the skin is affected by the amount of water vapor in the surrounding air, the humidity. Dry skin is also known as xeroderma or (xerosic dermatitis).
The epidermis is normally composed of fat (lipid) and protein. The lipid portion of the epidermis helps prevent skin dehydration. When the skin's fatty oils are removed, the skin loses its protection and loses moisture more easily. As skin becomes dry, it also may become more sensitive and prone to rashes and skin breakdown. This condition is sometimes referred to as xerosis. Dry skin may be an entirely invisible skin condition, or may cause a fine dry powder-like appearance of the skin. Untreated, dry skin may become irritated and result in a red rash (xerodermatitis).
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and relieve dry skin. Try to: avoid using hot water to bathe or shower shower every other day instead of every day keep your shower time to less than 10 minutes use a moisturizing soap when you bathe or shower apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering pat, rather than rub, wet skin dry with a soft towel avoid itching or scrubbing dry skin patches use a humidifier in your home drink plenty of water It’s also important to choose the right kind of moisturizer for your skin type. If your skin is extremely dry, look for a petrolatum-based product. You might consider switching to a lighter, water-based lotion during the summer months if your skin becomes less dry then. Lotions that contain grape seed oil and antioxidants can also help trap water in your skin.
Dry skin isn’t usually serious, but it can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Serious dry skin conditions — an inherited group of disorders called ichthyosis — can sometimes be disfiguring and upsetting. Fortunately, most dry skin is caused by environmental factors that can be at least partially controlled. These factors include hot or cold weather, low humidity, and soaking in hot water. You can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including using moisturizers and avoiding harsh, drying soaps. Chronic or severe dry skin problems may require evaluation by a doctor who specializes in skin (dermatologist).
Applying moisturizer to dry skin creates a seal that prevents moisture from escaping. Try an oil-based moisturizer, such as baby oil, for extremely dry skin because it lasts longer than other types of moisturizers. Natural oils, including avocado, jojoba and almond, also help keep dry skin hydrated. For best results, apply oil to your skin immediately after bathing. Pat your skin dry with a towel, but allow some moisture to remain on the surface. Apply oil generously, trapping moisture in and preventing your skin from drying out too quickly.
Simple prevention and treatment measures are very effective in the treatment of dry skin. Basic dry skin prevention steps include avoidance of harsh soaps and chemical cleansers. Treatment generally requires more frequent and regular applications of bland emollients and moisturizers. Untreated, dry skin may result in complications, including, eczema, secondary bacterial infections, cellulitis, and skin discoloration. Fortunately, dry skin is usually mild and can be easily remedied.
Skin owes its soft, pliable texture to its water content. Dry air (low humidity), probably the most common cause of dry skin, causes an evident reduction of water content. Furthermore, dry skin results when lipids are depleted and there is not enough water in the stratum corneum for it to function properly. Atopic dermatitis, a common dry skin condition in childhood, shows reduced lipids levels in the stratum corneum and, consequently, an important loss of water.2
During a skin biopsy, a piece of skin is removed under a local anesthesia and examined using a microscope. There are different types of skin biopsy: shave biopsy, punch biopsy, and excisional biopsy. Skin biopsies are performed to diagnose skin growths, skin conditions, and skin cancers.
Skin moisturizers, which rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in the moisture, are the first step in combating dry skin. They contain three main types of ingredients. Humectants, which help attract moisture, include ceramides (pronounced ser-A-mids), glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, and lecithin. Another set of ingredients — for example, petrolatum (petroleum jelly), silicone, lanolin, and mineral oil — helps seal that moisture within the skin. Emollients, such as linoleic, linolenic, and lauric acids, smooth skin by filling in the spaces between skin cells.
Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition marked by scaling, itching, and cracking. It can occur for a variety of reasons. You might have naturally dry skin. But even if your skin tends to be oily, you can develop dry skin from time to time.
Dryness occurs when the skin loses moisture or cannot retain it. Heated air indoors during winter, bathing too often and using harsh soaps can contribute to dry skin. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that dry skin occurs most frequently on the lower legs, sides of the abdomen and thighs, although the condition may appear anywhere on the body. Extremely dry skin can lead to scaling, cracking, flaking and irritation. Natural remedies can typically resolve the problem. However, consult your doctor if dryness and itching interfere with your sleep–or if home treatment does not improve your condition.
If you experience occasional dry skin, you can likely prevent and treat it using simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers. If you develop severe dry skin, make an appointment with your doctor. If left untreated, dermatitis can get worse. Early treatment will help you to feel comfortable sooner. It will also lower your risk of complications, such as open wounds from scratching and skin infections.
Chronic or severe dry skin problems require a dermatologist’s advice. It’s important have a diagnosis to exclude concomitant skin diseases as mentioned above. Dermatologist may evaluate and identify causes and get the necessary treatment: commonly, for people with dry skin, the best treatment is a moisturized cream or emollients, but if necessary, he may prescribe a steroid cream or ointment in association. For clinical picture characterized by intense itchy, which interferes with daily activities and sleep, antihistamine pills may be prescribed.
Consult your clinician if you notice any of these symptoms or if measures you take at home provide no relief. For severe dry skin, your clinician may prescribe a cream containing lactic acid, urea, or corticosteroids. She or he may also want to rule out medical conditions that can cause dry skin, including hypothyroidism, diabetes, lymphoma, kidney disease, liver disease, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. Always use sunscreen — even in the winter — to protect your skin.
A skin tag is a small benign growth of skin that projects from the surrounding skin. Skin tags can vary in appearance (smooth, irregular, flesh colored, dark pigment, raised). Skin tags generally do not cause symptoms unless repeatedly irritated. Treatment for skin tag varies depending on the location on the body.
Gallery of: Severe Dry Skin
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