Treating the symptoms of dry skin, such as flaking, itching, scaling, loss of elasticity and tightness.
DRY SKIN: THE CAUSES
The causes of chronic dry, pruritic skin are varied and may include the following:
**Genetics – People with dry skin may have a form of ichthyosis, a disease that causes the skin to become dry, thick and scaly.
**Metabolism – Dry skin is more common in people with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or those who have experienced excessive weight loss.
**Age – As the skin ages, it loses its natural ability to maintain moisture.
**Environment – Cool atmospheres with low humidity, airconditioning and central heating can increase the skin’s dryness.
**Exposure to water – Excessive showering or bathing in hot water or regularly swimming tends to dry the skin.
**Contact irritants – Soap, detergents and solvents are drying agents. Certain articles of clothing may cause frictional irritation.
DRY SKIN: THE TREATMENT
Specially formulated skincare products treat dry skin in three ways:
- They replace natural moisture.
- They replace skin lipids.
- They reduce water loss through occlusive materials (oily ingredients that create a physical barrier on the skin).
Gentle cleansing with a mild soap-free cleanser is recommended for dry skin, followed by moisturising with a rich emollient skin protectant lotion.