dry skin

what is dry skin?

Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterized by a lack of the correct amount of water in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. Nearly everyone has suffered from dry and dehydrated skin to some degree in their life,  some experience it daily, more often and more severely than others.  Dry skin occurs when skin doesn’t retain enough moisture.  Dry skin can occur at any age and for many reasons.  In general, skin becomes increasingly dry as we age. As the skin dries, it cracks and feels rough. Areas of redness develop. Scratching or rubbing the skin causes burning and itching sensations, leading to more itching and scratching.

what causes 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.

There are several causes of dry skin, which affects males and females equally, older individuals are typically much more prone to dry skin. The skin in elderly tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. Environmental factors, such as humidity and temperature, have a profound effect on the amount of water retained within the skin.  Frequent handwashing causes evaporation and dryness. Some internal factors include overall health, age, genetics, family history, and a personal history of other medical conditions like atopic dermatitis. In particular those with certain thyroid diseases are more prone to developing dry skin.

Common Symptoms of Dry skin:

  • Roughness
  • Dullness or greyness
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Flaking, scaling or peeling
  • Fine line and cracks
  • In severe cases, deep cracks that may bleed

The following characteristics are common in those women who suffers with dry skin:

  • Has visibly small pores
  • Skin feels tight and irritable
  • Often looks flaky
  • Shows fine lines
  • Slow secretion of sebum
  • Hard to apply makeup

dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin means that your skin is lacking water. It can be dry and itchy and results in your overall skin tone and complexion appearing uneven, and fine lines are more noticeable.  Treatment begins from the inside out to replenish and maintain hydration throughout your body.  Dehydrated skin can appear dry, but it’s not the same as having a dry skin type.

Dehydrated skin is sometimes discussed synonymously with dry skin. However, these are two different phenomena.  Dehydrated skin lacks water, dry skin lacks natural oils (also called sebum). Also, dry skin is a skin type, while dehydration is considered a condition.  Skin types are classified as normal, dry, combination, and oily. You’re usually born with one type of skin, but it can change with season and age.

Dry skin is sometimes associated with skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and even post-acne breakouts. However, these aren’t the same as having this dry skin type, nor are they the same as dehydrated skin.

complications

Dry skin is usually harmless. But when it’s not cared for, dry skin may lead to:

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema). If you’re prone to develop this condition, excessive dryness can lead to activation of the disease, causing cracking, redness and inflammation.
  • Dry skin may crack, allowing bacteria to enter, causing infections.

Dry skin lacks oil or lipids, while dehydrated skin lacks water in the top layer of the skin. So, your skin could be dehydrated, dry or both. Even oily and combination skin can be dehydrated.

dry skin characteristics

  • Can be flaky
  • Feels rough
  • Appears dry

dehydrated skin characteristics

  • Feels tight and rough
  • Sensitive
  • Looks dull
  • Shows fine lines, deep wrinkles and sagging skin

If you have a dry skin type, you should look at products or treatments that contain oil or cream-based products. If you have a dehydrated skin condition, which is commonly caused by sun exposure, ageing, incorrect skincare products use or drastic weather conditions, you should look at products or treatments that contain hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, growth factors and skin-replenishing ingredients.

Hyaluronic acid is something we all have in our bodies and is naturally produced. In dehydrated skin, hyaluronic acid with its moisture-binding humectant helps to retain moisture in the skin. The hyaluronic acid molecule can also hold up to 1000 times its weight in water.

Treatments available