Dry skin

Dry skin is a common condition in which skin cracks and peels off due to loss of moisture (liquids in skin).

Dry skin is also called:

It affects scalp, arms, legs, flanks, thighs and knuckles commonly. Luckily, most cases can be managed easily by moisturizers and emollients. However some may need expert advice, especially extremely dry skin that can be a warning sign of an underlying disease condition.

Difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin

Before getting into the detailed causes and treatment of dry skin, it’s important to understand the difference between dry and dehydrated skin.

Dry skin is the condition in which the sufficient amount of oil is lacking from the skin.

Dehydrated skin is the one that lacks sufficient water in it.

Also, skin can be both dry and dehydrated at the same time, while an oily skin can only be dehydrated. Dry skin is lacking oil in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin, and would lose water too as that barrier would be missing.

Common symptoms of both dry and dehydrated skin include:

Therefore it’s sometimes confusing for the patient to understand if the condition is dry skin or dehydrated skin since the cause is not obvious to them to infer the outcome of it.

Causes of dry skin

Most cases of xerosis are due to environmental factors, however there can be an underlying disease condition causing it too.

Common causes of dry skin include:

There are various other causes leading to dry skin too. Dry skin treatment depends upon the underlying cause.

Remember that while a lot of diseases cause dry skin, not all people with dry skin have any serious underlying cause. Therefore, don’t use drugs and medicines for the treatment without consulting a doctor to discuss the best treatment specific to your condition.

Dry skin treatment and drugs

Most important part of the treatment of dry skin to identify the factor causing the condition. Mostly the issues are related to water (hot water baths, swimming, etc.) and chemicals as discussed above, that result in the removal of protective outer oily layer, resulting in dry skin.

Tips to prevent and treat dry skin

Home remedies and tips to prevent and treat dry skin include:

If you’re having any underlying disorder that’s related to dry skin, get that diagnosed and managed accordingly by the doctor.

Dry skin drugs and medication

Remember not to self medicate. Always consult an expert before using any drug for dry skin or any other condition.

Medicines are mainly used to manage the conditions associated with dry skin, that may be causing or aggravating this condition.

Various medications used for dry skin related diseases include:

Remember not to use drugs and medicines on your own without consulting with your doctor.

When to seek medical advice for dry skin treatment?

If you’re experiencing dry skin that’s not too extreme, try humidifiers and moisturizers and see if they help. Also try changing the soap and/or shampoo, not using extremely hot water for bathing, and try using remedies for dry skin condition for around 2 weeks.

If the condition don’t settle down in 2 weeks or gets worse even before 2 weeks, consult a dermatologist immediately to get it diagnosed and see which treatment or drug is best for your condition.

If you’re experiencing extremely dry skin with complications, don’t wait for weeks trying remedies, rather consult a doctor immediately. This includes conditions and symptoms like:

If unsure, consult a doctor then too to prevent any complication or to delay a diagnosis of some potentially damaging disease.