What is Dry Skin? The Symptoms and Causes

Dry Skin: Blog found in http://www.dermis.net/

What is Dry Skin? The Symptoms and Causes

Dry skin is a common skin condition with many causes. But there are some common symptoms that you can use to identify if you have dry skin. These include:

Flakiness, when you have excess dead skin cells that can be seen on your face, arms or legs.

Redness of the skin, when the area has been irritated due to dryness.

Tight feeling of the skin, especially after bathing or swimming. It may even feel itchy at times.

Cracking and scaling of the skin, which can cause bleeding in extreme cases. It can even turn into a painful condition if not taken care of properly.

The most common causes of dry skin are cold weather, low humidity, excessive bathing and using harsh soaps or detergents. However, there are other factors that could also lead to having dry skin such as aging, certain medical conditions and even genetics. In some cases, the use of certain medications could also lead to dry skin problems due to their side effects. Some examples include diuretics, antispasmodics and antihistamines.

Dry skin, also called xerosis, is a common condition that occurs at all ages. It can be caused by environmental factors or other underlying conditions. Dry skin causes include:

Weather. Skin can become dry when exposed to cold weather conditions or dry climates with low humidity.

Excessive bathing. Washing too often with harsh soaps removes natural oils from the skin and makes it dry.

Aging. As you get older, your oil glands don’t work as well as they used to, leading to dry skin.

Skin disorders or allergies. Some skin disorders — such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis — and allergic reactions can cause dry skin. Poor blood circulation also may contribute to dry skin

Medications. Some medicines have dry skin as a side effect, including some birth control pills and acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids).

Dry skin symptoms include:

Itching (pruritus). Your skin may feel uncomfortably tight and rough, especially after bathing or showering or when exposed to windy weather.

Dry skin, also referred to as xerosis or xeroderma, is a condition of rough, dry skin with fine scaling of skin and, occasionally, with small cracks in the skin. Dry skin is common and can affect anyone. The condition is most prevalent during the winter months when temperatures are low and humidity is reduced. People who live in dry climates are more susceptible to dry skin than others. The symptoms of dry skin include: itching, cracking, flaking or peeling of the skin.

Dry Skin Causes

Dry Skin occurs when the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) loses moisture, oil and water content. There are several factors that contribute to this loss such as:


Environmental Conditions – High altitudes, low humidity and exposure to sunlight can cause a decrease in moisture and oil content in the epidermis leading to dry skin.

Age – As we age our skin begins to thin which results in a decrease in moisture content which leads to dry skin.

Medical Conditions – Atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis and diabetes can cause a loss of moisture resulting in dryness of the skin. Additionally thyroid disorders or kidney disease may also result in extreme dryness of the epidermis

Dry skin is a common condition with many causes. Dry skin can be a symptom that indicates a more serious diagnosis. But in most cases, dry skin is caused by environmental factors that remove moisture from the skin.

Dry skin, medically known as xerosis or xeroderma, is usually a mild condition caused by environmental factors that remove moisture from the skin. This can happen when the weather is cold and dry, when you are in an air-conditioned environment or even after taking a shower or bath.

If your skin tends to be dry, you may need to adjust your lifestyle and try different skin care products and methods.

Dry skin can also be a side effect of some medications, including diuretics and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and high blood pressure. Some people inherit a tendency toward dry skin and need to take special care with their daily skin care routine.

Dry skin: Overview


Common signs and symptoms of dry skin include:

Scaling, which can occur on any part of the body but is most noticeable on the shins, lower legs, arms and forearms

Itchy or red rash-like patches on the legs, arms or torso

Fine lines or cracks in the skin that

Dry skin is a common condition with many causes. Dry skin can be a symptom that indicates a more serious diagnosis. But in most cases, dry skin is caused by environmental factors that remove moisture from the skin.

Dry skin is also known as xerosis or xeroderma. The medical term for dry skin is asteatosis.

When you have dry skin, it means that your skin is losing water content and oils. This loss of oils and water content makes your skin feel dehydrated and rough, and can even lead to itching, cracking and peeling.

Dry skin affects people of all ages and genders, but it’s most common in older adults.

Most of the time, dry skin is temporary. It comes and goes, usually depending on the weather (cold weather in winter, for example). But sometimes dry skin is chronic. It lasts a long time, even through warmer weather. More than 90% of people who have dry skin also have eczema, a chronic itchy, scaly rash.

Dry skin happens when the skin loses too much water or oil (sebum). The skin can lose water and oil because of irritants or allergens that touch the skin. Dry skin may also be caused by other things:

1. Long hot showers or baths

2. Swimming in a pool with lots of chlorine

3. Dry air from forced air furnaces or air conditioners

4. Not using moisturizers right after taking a bath or shower

5. Changes in hormones due to pregnancy, menopause, or medicines like oral contraceptives

The dermis is the second layer of skin and is a complex, vibrant and dynamic structure, which responds to a variety of mechanical, chemical and immunological stimuli. The dermis is made up of densely packed collagen fibres, elastin fibres, extracellular matrix components and an extensive network of fibroblasts (dermal cells). The collagen fibres give the dermis its tensile strength and elasticity.

The dermis contains blood vessels, lymphatics, hair follicles and sweat glands as well as numerous nerve endings allowing touch, pressure and pain perception. It also houses a variety of immune cells and mast cells which help defend against infection.

The dermis is supported by an underlying layer of tissue known as the subcutis or hypodermis. This layer consists mainly of fat cells but does contain nerves and blood vessels that supply the overlying skin.

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