Welcome to our Skin Condition of the Month blog post. This month, we wanted to take a slightly more macro approach and discuss the topic of skin dryness. As many of us know all too well, chronic dry skin (known medically as xeroderma) can put a damper on how a person looks, while also causing roughness, itching, peeling, and even potential infection. Our board-certified dermatology providers thought it would be helpful to answer some commonly asked questions about skin dryness, including its causes and how it can be addressed.
Question #1: Is excessive skin dryness always caused by external conditions?
No. Although certain environmental conditions like dry, cold weather or jobs that require frequent hand washing or other water exposure can lead to the skin becoming dry, in many cases the causes of skin dryness are out of a person’s control. Older people are more likely to experience dry skin due to pores naturally producing less oil over time. Certain underlying health conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, or kidney disease, as well as deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can also contribute to skin dryness.
Question #2: Can dry skin be prevented?
There are absolutely things that you can do to help promote healthy, moisture-rich skin and lower your risk of skin dryness. We recommend:
- Drinking plenty of water each day to keep yourself and your skin hydrated
- Use cooler water when you shower and try to keep your shower time under 10 minutes
- Use a natural, moisturizing soap that does not have added chemicals or irritants
- Find a moisturizer that you like and apply it daily, including immediately after exiting the shower or bath
- If you have any dry spots, resist itching or rubbing them to avoid further irritation
- Using a humidifier in your home (especially while you sleep) can help keep the skin dewy overnight
Question #3: What is the best treatment to address dry skin?
Like with any other condition, in order to effectively treat dry skin, we must determine what is causing the dryness in the first place. For instance, some people experience persistent skin dryness due to common skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, or psoriasis. Whereas others may just need a tweak to their normal skin care routine. Our experts specialize in examining the skin to successfully determine the root cause of any dryness issues, then work with our patients on a customized treatment plan that works for them.
Skin dryness can be incredibly frustrating to deal with, but you don’t have to face it alone. We have been serving the Atlanta area for over forty years and our dermatology providers have the knowledge and experience to effectively address any skin care concern or dermatological issue. For more information on skin dryness and our available dermatology treatments, contact Dermatology Associates of Atlanta to schedule an appointment today. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more skin care tips and practice updates.