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Dry skin: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The skin is one of the body’s essential organs, and its exposure to external factors such as the sun, weather, and water can cause changes in its appearance, skin lesions, and extreme dryness. Dry skin is the leading cause of discomfort in the epidermis and occurs when the organ loses too much water and oil. This condition can occur at any age and anywhere on the body, but it is most common in the hands, feet, arms, and inner thighs.

Lack of moisture in the dermis can manifest itself in several ways, causing roughness, peeling, cracking, redness, inflammation, tightness, and itching. Dry skin tends to feel very stiff after bathing and appears broken to the naked eye. Knowing the internal and external factors that can affect humidity is essential to treating dryness properly; for this reason, at FastlyHealwe have prepared this article on dry skin: causes and treatment.

Internal factors that can cause dry skin

Some diseases of the skin or other parts of the human body can intervene in the natural conservation of moisture in the skin, causing extreme dryness as the main consequence. Among the causes of dry skin, we find the following conditions:


They are a group of skin conditions known as dermatitis that cause skin inflammation, itching, peeling, and redness. The cause of these conditions is unknown and can be easily recognized by the rash they produce on the face, elbows, behind the knees, hands, and feet.

Eczema is a non-contagious disease that can get better over time. The most common eczema is atopic dermatitis, which most affects newborn babies and usually disappears during adulthood. Scratching, showering in hot water, unprotected sun exposure, or being in cold temperatures can make eczema considerably worse.


Psoriasis is a skin disease associated with a disorder in the immune system. This condition causes inflammation, redness, and the appearance of silver patches or plaques that make the skin flaky. Most people with psoriasis experience dry skin and need to use emollients or ointments daily to keep the epidermis hydrated to avoid flare-ups and symptoms.

Psoriasis is not contagious, and the goal of your treatment is to prevent breakouts and infections that may occur on the skin. Exposure to external factors such as dry air, hot water, and sunlight can trigger a psoriasis attack. Stress, strong emotions, and drinking alcohol can also make skin lesions worse.


An abnormal dryness occurs on the skin or mucous membranes and worsens considerably during colder seasons such as winter. Skin with xerosis appears dry, scaly, reddened and cracked. People with this disease often notice peeling, especially on the legs and arms.

Like psoriasis, the treatment of this condition consists of calming the symptoms, which is why it is necessary to use moisturizers based on urea and lactic acid. The use of lotions with steroids is recommended for inflammation and intense itching.

Mellitus diabetes

People with diabetes are at increased risk of dry skin due to a blockage in sweating, which can cause cracks to form that facilitate the entry of germs and bacteria that can cause infection. It is essential to keep the whole body hydrated, especially the feet.

Bad nutrition

Eating an unbalanced diet can cause a deficiency of vitamins and minerals that can lead to dry, cracked, rigid, and aged skin. Monitoring the optimal intake of vitamin A and vitamin E is essential to prevent dry skin caused by poor nutrition.

Other internal causes

  • Genetic factors and family history.
  • Light skin has a higher risk of dryness than dark skin.
  • Hormonal changes such as those that occur during pregnancy and menopause.

External factors that can cause dry skin

The skin is the most exposed organ to all kinds of external factors that can attack moisture and cause very annoying skin lesions. The external triggers that cause dry skin can be classified as follows:


  • Very aggressive climatic changes such as cold, heat, and dry air.
  • Cold seasons like winter and hot like summer.
  • Exposure to sunlight can accelerate aging, and the skin becomes drier as a person ages.


  • Scalding showers remove the skin’s moisture barrier.
  • Taking very long baths also affects the moisture in the dermis and causes extreme dryness.
  • Do not use specialized creams or emollients for dry skin.
  • Use irritating cosmetics.
  • Use abrasive soaps or lotions that remove the lipid layer from the dermis and allow moisture to be released from it.


Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can affect the composition of the skin and seriously compromise its moisture. Diuretics and antihypertensives can also cause dryness.

Other causes of dry skin


For dry skin to be adequately protected from the sun’s rays, you need a filter that offers a protection factor and a moisturizing factor. The sunscreen should not contain perfume or dyes to avoid skin irritation.

Work outdoors

People whose professions suggest working outdoors, such as fishermen and farmers, are at higher risk of developing dry skin from constant exposure to external factors such as the weather and the sun.


Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco smoke affect blood circulation, allowing the skin to wither and dry out more quickly. Smoking accelerates the aging process and stimulates the appearance of wrinkles.

Treatment for dehydrated skin

Skin cleansing

Dry skin should be washed with a mild lotion that prevents the protective layer of moisture from being removed. Also, the soap should not contain fragrance or color to avoid any skin irritation. The use of soaps with urea is recommended because it guarantees hydration while helping to conserve moisture inside.

Dry facial skincare

It is essential to choose emollient products for the face but not abrasive and free of fragrances and dyes. Facial skin is the most delicate of the entire body and the most sensitive to external factors, so it is essential to clean it twice a day: in the morning and at night. It is necessary to avoid using products with alcohol or menthol.

Removing makeup daily with a gentle, hydrating product is essential to prevent impurities in your pores and make redness and itching worse. Using sunscreen on your face every day is also necessary to avoid facial dryness.

How to hydrate dry skin

The ideal moisturizers for dry skin are those that are made from the following components:

  • Urea and lactate: help to fix moisture in the layers of the skin, and because they are natural, they are not toxic or cause allergies. It is advisable to use a cream that contains more than 5% urea concentration.
  • Glucoglycerol: it is a molecule capable of stimulating the skin’s natural moisture, helping to increase the flow of water from the innermost layers to the outside. Glucoglycerol ensures permanent hydration.
  • Ceramide-3: helps reduce moisture loss by repairing the lipid barrier.
  • Hyaluronic Acid – Ideal for treating age-induced dry skin. In addition to stimulating hydration and moisture in the skin, it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Using day, night, and eye contour creams with hyaluronic acid are recommended.

Tips for treating dry skin

  • Wear gloves to scrub or wash clothing by hand to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals.
  • Avoid exposure to dry outdoor air, air conditioning, and heating.
  • Take lukewarm showers and avoid long baths.
  • Use laundry detergents without fragrances or dyes.
  • Apply moisturizer, ointments, or emollients to wet skin for better absorption.
  • Drink enough liquid every day, at least 2 liters of water daily.
  • Pat the skin dry by patting it with a towel instead of squeezing the epidermis.
  • Apply moisturizer 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Have a special cream in your bag to moisturize your hands.
  • Use sunscreen every day, even when the sky is cloudy.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dry skin: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair, and nails category .

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