Most of us have dealt with dry, itchy skin at one time or another. If dry skin is a chronic issue, however, you may want to consider these four common contributing factors that lead to uncomfortable, dry skin.
Whether the weather is hot, or whether the weather is cold, if it’s a time of low humidity in your region, your skin is likely suffering. Though winter conditions tend to dry skin out the most, the summer can be just as bad if you live in a desert area.
Speaking of summertime, sun exposure can make skin look and feel extremely dry, itchy and flaky. In the case of sun damage, though, the symptoms that you see are not the worst part. The most significant part of sun damage lies deep beneath the skin. It causes collagen and elastin to break down, which ultimately leads to wrinkles and sagging.
Read more about preventing and treating sun-damaged skin here. >>
Keeping comfortable indoors during times of extreme heat or cold can also dry out your skin because the time spent is typically in rooms pumping the dry air that comes with central air conditioning or heat.
Harsh soaps and detergents are two common irritants that can really take a toll on your skin. Perfumes in laundry detergent, chemicals in beauty and skincare items, deodorants and antibacterial soaps are especially hard on skin, sucking out most of the moisture without putting anything back in. Many shampoos can also dry out your scalp, causing it to flake and itch.
Prolonged exposure to hot water in the shower or bath is also a major cause of dry skin. The hot water actually breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, causing skin to dry out quickly. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to use a sharp razor with a moisturizing shaving cream or gel when you shave your legs. You’ll get the job done quickly, while retaining as much moisture as possible in your skin while you shave.
Read more about the best ways to shave. >>
An important way to prevent dry skin is to prevent dehydration. Dry skin is often caused by dehydration, as your body loses moisture from the inside out. Of course, it’s important to drink plenty of water. But it is also just as important to limit dehydrating drinks like sugary juices and sodas, anything caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Several common medical conditions and medications can contribute to dry skin. For example, changes in hormones can also cause big changes in the skin. This can result from any change in your hormones from pregnancy, breastfeeding, birth control or menopause.
Read here about finding the birth control that’s right for you and learn about more potential side effects. >>
Conditions like eczema and psoriasis often cause skin to itch and flake, while diabetes and hypothyroidism can also impact your skin’s moisture. Additionally, any medication that has a diuretic effect can lead to dehydration and dry skin.