Skin is the largest organ of human body. Skin protects the internal organs as well plays an important role in presentation of the body. Skin care has evolved as a major business since last few years because of awareness and towards looking beautiful and glamour industry. Plethora of products are available in market for various skin conditions and skin care.
To understand the some effective ways , its important to understand some of the basics of structures of skin.
Let us first understand the types of skin to deal the problem.
TYPES OF SKIN : There are mainly four types of healthy skin, they are as follows;
1.1 Normal Skin: Normal’ is a term widely used to refer to well-balanced skin. The scientific term for healthy skin is eudermic
1.2 Dry Skin: ‘Dry’ is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of lack of sebum dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences.
1.3 Oily Skin: ‘Oily’ is used to describe a skin type with heightened sebum production. An over production is known as seborrhea.
1.4 Combination skin: Combination skin is, as the name suggests, skin that consists of a mix of skin types
1.1 NORMAL SKIN
How to identify normal skin?
Good Blood circulation
A Velvety, soft and smooth texture
Not prone to Sensitivity
1.2 DRY SKIN
Dry’ is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. This leads to an impaired barrier function. Dry skin exists in varying degrees of severity and in different forms that are not always clearly distinguishable. Problems related to dry skin are a common complaint and account for 40% of visits to dermatologists.
A. Causes of dry skin : Skin moisture depends on supply of water in the deeper skin layers and on perspiration. Skin is constantly losing water via:
Perspiration: active water loss from the glands caused by heat, stress and activity.
Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL): the natural, passive way in which skin diffuses about half a litre of water a day from the deeper skin layers.
Dry skin is caused by a lack of:
Natural moisturising factors- especially urea, amino acids and lactic acid – that help to bind in water.
Epidermal lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol which are needed for a healthy skin barrier function.
As a result, the skin’s barrier function can become compromised.
B. Types of Dry Skin: Dry skin ranges from skin that is a little bit drier than normal, through very dry skin to extremely dry skin. The differences can normally be distinguished by:
Dry skin Mildly dry skin can feel tight, brittle and rough and look dull. Skin elasticity is also low.
Very dry skin If the dryness is not treated, skin may develop:
mild scaling or flakiness in patches
a rough and blotchy appearance (sometimes it appears to be prematurely aged)
a feeling of tightness
It is also more sensitive to irritation, redness and the risk of infection.
Extremely dry skin Certain areas of the body – particularly hands, feet, elbows and knees – are prone to:
chapping with a tendency to form rhagades (cracks)
Extremely dry skin is most commonly found on the elderly or on severely dehydrated hands.
1.3 Oily skin
Oily’ is used to describe a skin type with heightened sebum production. An over production is known as seborrhea.
The causes of oily skin are as follows;
A number of issues trigger the over production of sebum:
hormonal changes and imbalances
comedogenic cosmetics (make-up products that cause irritation)
1.4 Combination Skin:
In combination skin the skin types vary in the T-zone and the cheeks. The so-called T-zone can differ substantially – from a very slim zone to an extended area.
Combination skin is characterised by:
an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose)
enlarged pores in this area perhaps with some impurities
normal to dry cheeks
We have understood different types of skin types. Once we have understood the types of skin , it is important to pay attention to solve the problems associated with dry skin. Dry skin causes irritation, itching, flaky appearance and discomfort.
People facing problems of dry skin are always in a need to find instant and easy solutions.
Here are few options to find relief from dry and flaky skin;
2. QUICK AND EASY METHODS TO GET RELIEF FROM DRY SKIN
Dry skin (xerosis) is a common condition with many causes. Dry skin may 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. Heat, hot showers, arid climates, and harsh soaps can all trigger dry skin.
Causes of Dry skin : Several common triggers may be the culprit behind your dry skin.
Environmental triggers. The weather is often the most cited cause of severe dry skin, especially in winter. “Not only does the temperature drop, so does the humidity, which leads to drier air that can exacerbate your dry skin,” explains Massick. Plus, with heaters cranked up, and longer, hotter showers on the agenda, your skin may lose more moisture than usual.
Certain skin diseases. Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can make you more susceptible to dry skin. “Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common cause of dry, itchy skin in kids and adults," as mentioned by dermatologist.
Systemic diseases. In addition to skin conditions, systemic diseases such as thyroid disease and diabetes, can also increase the risk of severe dry skin.
Lack of moisture. Just like your body can get dehydrated, so can your skin. That’s why researchers stress on the importance of moisturizing your skin regularly and also drinking plenty of fluids to keep your skin hydrated from the inside.
Age. Dry skin affects all ages. But it’s later in life that you may notice it the most. “Your skin becomes more sensitive and thinner over time,” says Massick. This may make your skin more prone to drying out quickly.
Nutritional deficiencies. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B6 and zinc can cause dry, itchy skin, or skin that takes longer to heal.
2.1 Right soap: Soap should be mild to the skin, a harsh soap with fragrance and irritant may harm skin and cause more dry or flaky appearance. According to studies, it is always recommended that one can use skin cleanser instead of soap to clean the skin.
2.2 Moisturizer: Washing with the right soap is just part of the equation. To tackle severe dry skin head-on, you also need to seal in moisture right after drying off from a bath or shower.
While choosing moisturizer, Its important to select a product that is devoid of fragrance or perfumes, dyes.
Some of the studies also say that its advisable to use lotions and cream are better than lotion as they contain more amount of oil.
Natural oil that is moisturizing for your skin, such as jojoba oil, is a great option for extremely dry skin. Jojoba oil is very similar to the oil our skin produces and helps our skin hold moisture. This oil also contains great benefits such as Vitamin E, and antioxidants. It can even help acne. Applying a small amount of the oil to spots on the skin that are in dire need of some extra moisture can make a big difference.
Moisturize Immediately After exfoliating and/or cleansing, make sure to apply moisturizer immediately. If you wait too long, your skin will remain dehydrated and dry. This can also cause any irritation of your skin to last longer than it should.
The quick application of moisturizer gives your skin the hydration it needs after applying an exfoliator or cleanser.
The moisture from splashing your face with water will also help the moisturizer sink in much better.
Moisturize More Than Once Another tip for dry skin is to use moisturizer more than once per day. It can be very beneficial to use moisturizer at the beginning of the day, or before putting on your makeup, in addition to using it at the end of the day before you go to bed.
The moisturizer at the beginning of the day will give your skin added moisture throughout the day, and moisturizer at the end of the day will help your skin repair itself as you sleep overnight.
2.3 Use of warm water: This is the simplest modification you can make at home.
When you take a bath or shower, use lukewarm water — not hot.
Water that’s too warm can inflame your skin and also disrupt your skin’s natural balance of moisture. Also, try to limit your shower or bathing time to no more than 10 minutes.
If you like to keep the thermostat in your home or office on high, consider dialing it back. Heated air can rob your skin of moisture.
One effective way of adding moisture to indoor air is by using humidifier in home or office. Humidifier may help in keeping the moisture circulating in the air indoor and help in maintaining the level of moisture normally present in the skin.
Use of warm water is indicated for dry skin. Hot water shower may be soothing but warm water is beneficial in maintaining the moisture present in skin.
2.4 Pat the skin: Treat your skin gently when washing and drying. Avoid rubbing your skin vigorously with a wash cloth or sponge when you’re in the bath or shower.
When drying off with a towel, try not to rub your skin. Instead, gently pat or dab your skin dry so there’s still a trace of moisture left on your skin.
2.5 Shave smartly: Shaving can irritate dry skin, It is recommended that shaving should be done after taking bath. After bath, hair becomes more pliable and shaving becomes more easier.
Always use after shave gel or cream and shave in the direction of hair growth. Proper shaving reduces the irritation of dry skin.
Razor use should also be in an effective way so that it doesn't irritate skin and doesn't make it more dry.
2.6 Cover up the skin: One of the reason for having dry and rough skin is exposure to sunlight , also known as sun damage. Hence, it is very essential to cover up the skin by using a good sunscreen around year.
Sunscreen of SPF 30 may be used by the person to avoid the damage to the skin. Dressing up properly also reduces the chance of developing dry skin and wrinkles.
In cool weather, Cambio says, be sure to "dress in layers to prevent overheating and perspiring excessively; both can irritate the skin."
To prevent dry, chapped lips in winter, use a lip balm with SPF 15 sunscreen may be used.
In summer, wear light, loose, long-sleeved shirts when out in the sun, and wear a 2-inch wide-brimmed hat to shade your neck, ears, and eyes.
2.7 Natural products for dry skin: Studies say that there has been growing interest in the natural products for treating dry skin. There are few products available at home which can be used easily and work effectively for treating dry skin. Following is the list of products found in home;
Honey: With its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, honey can be used as a natural wound healer and moisturizer.
Coconut oil: With antimicrobial and moisturizing properties, coconut oil can help keep your skin hydrated and may also reduce inflammation.
Aloe vera: Most often used in gel form for soothing sunburned skin, aloe vera contains polysaccharides which may stimulate skin growth and help with healing dry, irritated skin.
Oatmeal: Soaking in a colloidal oatmeal bath may help soothe dry, irritated skin.
2.8 Exfoliate the skin: Though those with dry skin may think that an exfoliator causes their skin to become even drier, it is important to use an exfoliator.
Exfoliators should not be used daily or extremely often, but they are important for preventing excess dry skin from building up. Make sure to use a gentle exfoliator that is not too abrasive and use a gentle hand when applying the exfoliator. Make sure to moisturize directly afterwards.
2.9 Use an hydrocortisone cream: If your dry skin is especially itchy or irritated, you may want to consider applying an over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone cream or ointment to the affected area after using a cold compress. Hydrocortisone creams come in different strengths. But, it may be required to have a prescription for getting hydrocortisone.
2.10 Look out for what touches the skin: If possible, try to use laundry detergents that are formulated for sensitive skin. These detergents are typically gentler on your skin and less likely to cause irritation.
When choosing clothes, stay away from scratchy fabrics like wool. Fabrics like cotton and silk allow your skin to breathe, which makes them a good choice for both clothing and bed linens.
2.11 Avoid using Powder : Avoid using powder, which may cause the skin more dry and scaly, so using a moisturising which would help skin to maintain more soft and healthy. If using powder, use brush and little product which would maintain skin healthier.
2.12 Diet: Proper healthy diet is essential which includes micronutrients I adequate amounts. Also, hydrating regularly and efficiently is very important for the person having dry skin. So to avoid damage to dry skin or treat dry skin drink plenty of water.
2.13 Right Sanitizer: You can’t check out at a convenience store or walk into a doctor’s office without seeing a hand sanitizer dispenser these days. And many families keep bottles all over the house for quick and easy hand cleansing.
But alcohol-based sanitizers can really dry out your hands. Look for hydrating versions that say dermatologist-recommended on the label.
3. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE :
If you want to get ahead of a dry skin issue, Massick suggests intervening early, especially if you tend to struggle with dry skin in the winter.
In addition to any treatments your doctor may give you, try to:
avoid using harsh soaps
stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
take lukewarm showers
slather your skin with a gentle moisturizer after drying off
avoid scratching your skin
turn your thermostat down
keep indoor moisture levels up
protect your skin from the elements by wearing gloves, scarves, and any other clothing that can protect exposed skin
4. WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?
As with any health condition, if you have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.
But if you’re more of a “wait and see” type of person, it’s important to know the signs that may indicate it’s time to see your healthcare provider or dermatologist.
If you have severe dry skin, it’s a good idea to follow up with your doctor if you notice:
your skin is oozing, blistering, or has an odor
large areas of your skin are peeling
you have an itchy rash that’s ring-shaped
your dry skin doesn’t get better or gets worse after using home treatments for a couple of weeks
You may need a prescription ointment or medication to treat your symptoms.
Dry skin is a common condition that typically responds to treatment. It tends to be more prevalent in winter when the air is colder and drier, and indoor heating is cranked up.
Staying hydrated, applying plenty of moisturizer to your skin, and avoiding overly heated air and hot showers can all help prevent your skin from becoming too dry.
If your skin does become severely dry, home treatments can often help. But if your skin doesn’t improve, or the symptoms get worse, be sure to follow up with a healthcare professional.
So, here was a gist of products or methods which may help in reducing the problems associated with dry skin.