Untreated dry skin can become worse, causing it to itch, flake and get irritated; this may result in cracked, open skin and can cause pain, infection, and possible bleeding.
Dry skin primarily affects the knees and elbows, but it can also spread to a person’s face.
Dry skin has been linked to several dermatological syndromes including eczema, dermatitis, ichthyosis, xerosis and scaly skin.
Flaky, red and chapped skin isn’t appealing on anyone – it is contradictory to the normal, healthy skin you should be showing off with a natural glow.
So what are some of the sources of dry skin?
The sun – keeping your face covered is critical while outside in the severe Australian sun (2 out of 3 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70). Never go outdoors without wearing sunscreen, a hat that covers your whole face, and sunglasses during exposure to the sun.
Genetics– it is possible to inherit dry skin from your family genetics.
Age – skin generally becomes drier with time and aging.
Taking baths or showers that are longer than average. Bathing may temporarily moisturise your skin, but it can also dry it out by removing your skin’s acid mantle.
Mass-produced, commercial soap – regular soap is designed to wash away oil. It can be very high in alkaline content and can be very damaging to skin. Some soaps may even cause allergic reactions. People with dry skin are recommended to use an alternative to regular soap.
Towel drying your skin – when drying off with a towel, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.
Physical activity – losing excessive amounts of water, possibly from sweating, can sometimes create dry skin. Anytime moisture is lost, it should be replenished. Not having enough moisture in your skin will cause your water content to be depleted. As a result, your skin may become dry or itchy.
If you have dry skin, avoid these things:
Scratching – this is the worst thing you can do if you have dry skin, so resist the compulsion to do so. This can harm your skin more and make it even itchier (if you can, file your nails until they are smooth or short enough so that you can’t scratch).
Avoid prolonged contact with the sun, wind, AC, hot water and any kind of detergent when you can. This may not be possible at all times, but these are all factors you should look out for.
Tips to manage your dry skin:
Use a toner – Get a high-quality, non-allergenic exfoliating cleanser to get rid of any dead skin cell layers you may have.
Soothe it – Purchase a mask that has an ingredient called volcanic ash clay (this is occasionally called ‘living clay’ because of its abundant mineral contents) to clear up, soften and soothe irritated skin.
Moisturize and Hydrate – High-quality moisturizers may lessen your amount of water evaporation that can result in dry skin. The key ingredient to look for is manuka honey. This is a natural humectant (draws moisture out of the air and locks it into your skin cells) and has the ability to nurture, calm and rehydrate skin that is dry and dehydrated.