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Board-Certified Dermatologists in Birmingham, AL: Medical, Cosmetic & Surgical Dermatology Center. Pediatric Specialists | 5 Min from I459

Whether you seem to have always had it, or it comes on suddenly, dry skin doesn’t just come out of nowhere. There are some very common causes to dry skin and understanding the cause of why you are having this issue is key to getting the right treatment. Here are just a few reasons that you may be experiencing this problem.

 

Dry skin can impact the quality of your life

For some folks, it may be as simple as feeling some tightness in your skin after you’ve showered, or experiencing some itchiness in certain areas. There are other people who unfortunately experience cracked and irritated skin that bleeds.

person applying medication to blisters on hand

If you are affected by dry skin, you don’t have to deal with the pain and discomfort that can sometimes follow. It just so happens that there are a variety of treatments available that can help soothe your skin and leave you with an overall better quality of life. Below is some information about a few common causes of dry skin and some treatments that might help.

What Are Some Common Causes of Dry Skin?

 

  • Atopic Dermatitis—This condition is the most common type of eczema diagnosed.
    This condition is the result of your skin not holding on to moisture like it should. If you’ve noticed a rash on your hands, feet, face, inside your elbows, or behind your knees, it may be as simple as changing detergents or soaps, or starting to use a moisturizer regularly. 
  • Weather—Have you noticed your skin feeling dry during the winter months? When the humidity and temperatures drop in colder areas, many people can experience the impact of dry skin.
  • Smoking—People who smoke cigarettes or cigars are doing damage to their skin, in addition to many other potential health hazards. Smoking can affect your blood flow which may, in turn, cause issues with your skin.
  • Age—As you get older, the glands in your skin won’t be able to keep your skin naturally hydrated with oil as readily. This will mean that, as you enter your 50’s, dry skin may become a more common issue for you.

 

Dry skin can lead to an abundance of unpleasant side-effects, including infection. Infection is a possibility because cracked and inflamed skin can lead to bacteria finding its way into those fissures and making a home in it.

Treatments and Prevention of Dry Skin

Since our skin is so important to the quality of your life, you must do everything you can to take care of it and prevent some of the associated issues. Below are some treatments and ways you can prevent dry skin from impacting your life.

 

  • Moisturize—If you find that your skin is dry, you may want to provide it with a little assistance with some moisturizer. Some experts recommend using one with lactic acid or urea because they will help your skin retain moisture better. They can also help with keeping your body smooth, and soft, as well as protect your skin from cracking. Your dermatologist can help you select a product that is right for you.
  • Medication—There are times when even over-the-counter moisturizers won’t do the trick. For those times, your dermatologist may call in the big guns. There are different creams, ointments, and corticosteroids that they can prescribe that will help you find relief from the itching, redness, and cracking.
  • Cover Your Skin in Cold, Dry Weather—As the temperatures drop, make sure that you are covering your skin. Keeping your skin protected from the elements will ensure that you retain as much moisture as possible. It may also be a good idea to invest in a humidifier for those colder, drier months.

See Your Dermatologist

There is no reason that anyone in the Birmingham, AL area should have to suffer from the impacts of dry skin. If you are experiencing any discomfort from this condition, and haven’t been able to solve it with any over-the-counter products, consider making an appointment, or getting a referral from your general practitioner, to visit Associated Dermatologists. You can reach us at (205) 853-3960.

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