Dry skin is a common skin condition that can occur for a variety of reasons. While it is often caused by environmental factors, it can also be the result of lifestyle choices and, even, underlying medical conditions. This article will explore some of the most common causes of dry skin and how to treat it.
What is Dry Skin?
Dry skin, also called xerosis or xeroderma, is usually a mild condition that affects primarily the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. The skin may itch, feel tight, crack, or flake. It can occur at any age, but worsens as you age and/or your skin ages. While dry skin is not usually a serious condition, it can be uncomfortable and lead to other problems, both cosmetic and medical, such as accelerated aging and skin infections, respectively
What Causes Dry Skin?
There are many possible causes of dry skin, but the most common is a lack of moisture and hydration. Dryness is often caused by environmental factors, such as low humidity or cold weather, or lifestyle factors, such as cleansing with harsh soaps or detergents or not drinking enough water. Other causes of dry skin are correlated with certain medical conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, and use of certain medications, such as those that treat acne, from benzoyl peroxide to antibiotics to Accutane.
How is Dry Skin Diagnosed?
Dry skin is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination. Your doctor will likely ask about your symptoms and when they began. He or she will also ask about your medical history and any medications you are taking. In some cases, if believed to be associated with a more severe condition, your doctor may order a skin biopsy, which is a test that involves taking a small sample of skin to be examined under a microscope.
How is Dry Skin Treated?
The treatment for dry skin depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is environmental, such as low humidity or cold weather, then the best treatment is to avoid exposure to these conditions, supplemented with a non-comedogenic, microbiome-friendly moisturizing oil or cream. If the cause is due to cleansing with harsh soaps or detergents, then the best treatment is to switch to a gentler, milder microbiome-friendly cleanser. However, if the cause is due to a medical condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, then treatment will focus on managing the underlying condition. In some cases, treatment may involve using prescription-strength topical creams and/ororal medications, in addition to supplementing with the right skincare regimen for you.
Preventing Dry Skin
There are several things you can do to prevent dry skin, including:
When to See a Doctor
You should see a clinician if your dry skin is accompanied by other symptoms, such as redness, itching, or pain, or if your dry skin does not improve with self-care measures. If you have a medical condition that may be causing your dry skin, such as eczema or psoriasis, you should see a clinician to access the right treatment.
How Parallel Can Help
Knowing your skin microbiome type is essential to understanding why your skin might be feeling dry. Parallel is here to help you discover your skin microbiome type and empower you with the right precision products to achieve healthy, radiant skin. It's as easy as taking a surface-level swab (not biopsy!) of your skin and sending it in for analysis. By using the most advanced genomic sequencing, we can provide you with a personalized report that includes a skin care regimen tailored to your specific needs. So, if you're wondering how to get rid of dry skin, or how to treat dry skin, Parallel can help.
Dry skin can be uncomfortable, but it is usually not a serious condition. By following the tips above, you can help prevent dry skin and live a healthier, happier life. And, if you need help finding the right products for your dry skin, Parallel can assist you in finding the perfect solution.
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