Dry skin is a condition in which the skin looks dehydrated, sometimes cracked , but also very elastic and particularly fragile . This can be a temporary situation, perhaps only during the winter months, but still annoying and unwanted. Dry skin may be subject to appearance of wrinkles and furrows, while in other cases it may be constant for the whole life and may be associated with more serious skin problems, such as the so-called ichthyoses.

Most often areas affected by the problem are the arms and calves, but the situation varies greatly from person to person. Also the signs and symptoms of dry skin depend on factors such as age, health status, time spent outdoors, and the root cause of the problem. Among the most common complaints include tight skin feeling, especially after a bath or a shower, a wrinkled appearance, itching, peeling, redness and formation of creases and cracks. Sometimes the skin can actually crack and bleed.

The basis can be the weather conditions, a lack of humidity in the environment in which one lives, too hot baths or showers, using soaps or harsh cleaners, Improper exposure to the sun or skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis.


What kind of diseases can be associated with dry skin?

The following diseases may be associated with dry skin:

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Sunburn
  • Skin infections
  • Food intolerance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ichthyosis
  • Hashimoto
  • Diabetic foot
  • Pityriasis rosea
  • Psoriasis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjögren's syndrome

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence



What is the therapy for dry skin?

When dry skin appears to be a chronic or severe condition, intervention of a specialist is necessary. Before contacting a dermatologist you can try to improve the situation with a good lifestyle.

You should also avoid using soap or other harsh products (e.g. containing irritants such as perfumes artificial), preferred solutions moisturizers and avoid hot baths and showers. After the shower you have to dry the skin dabbing, without rubbing it, and remember to apply oil or moisturizer. The use of a humidifier and apparel in natural fibers, such as cotton or silk, may improve your condition. In case of itching, cold compresses can help reduce the hassle; sometimes, however, only cortisone creams can provide effective relief.

If the suggested changes do not help, your doctor may recommend use of specific products , such as lactic acid-based creams or urea. In case of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis or psoriasis, it may be indispensable to buy products that require a prescription.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of dry skin?

In case of dry skin you should seek medical attention if despite the precautions taken, the problem does not improve, the dryness is associated with redness, itching and discomfort and prevents you from sleeping well, forms ulcers or develop infections and or if a large area of ​​skin starts to peel or exfoliate.