Dry Skin – FAQs
Are you struggling with dry skin? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions answered.
What is the medical term for dry skin?
Xeroderma, derived from the Greek, is the medical term for dry skin.
What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?
Dry skin is a skin type resulting from a lack of oil, or lipids, whereas dehydrated skin results from a lack of moisture in the top layer of the skin (the stratum corneum).
What are the characteristics of dry skin?
Signs of dry skin are;
- Scaly skin
- White flakes
What are the symptoms of dehydrated skin?
- Feels tight
- Feels rough
- Is itchy
- Shows fine lines
- Shows accelerated signs of ageing, like sagging skin and surface wrinkles
- Looks dull
Why does skin dryness occur?
It occurs when the natural moisture barrier of the outer layer of the skin is disrupted. This leads to a loss of hydration and the penetration of irritants that can cause sensitivity and discomfort.
What factors contribute to the problem?
Both external and internal factors can lead to dry skin. Environmental conditions such as wind, low air humidity, extreme temperatures and UV rays can all play a role. Furthermore, lifestyle habits and internal factors can also contribute to skin dryness. These include dehydration, diet, certain medications, hormones, diseases and natural ageing.
Is it necessary to use different skin care products during different seasons ?
The skin can be extremely reactive to seasonal changes. Cold temperatures, dry wind and low humidity in the air tend to make for drier skin during the winter, as compared to the summer months.
That being said, the extent to which this impact is felt varies amongst individuals. If you have a skin care routine that maintains an adequate hydration level of your skin all year round, there is no need to make a change. If you find that your skin is particularly susceptible to the elements, it may be worth making a few minor changes with the seasons.
What is the best way to relieve dry skin?
With a combination of gentle cleansing, exfoliation and a quality moisturiser. It’s important to use a moisturiser that is free of harsh irritants and contains ingredients that draw moisture in from the air, as well as sealing in the moisture and lubricating the skin, like all of O’Keeffe’s skin care products.
What is the area most commonly affected by dry skin?
It can occur anywhere, but the most commonly affected areas are the arms, legs and hands.
Can medications cause dry skin?
Yes – diuretics, antihistamines and retinoids are common culprits. If you’re concerned that your medication may be contributing to the condition of your skin, ask your doctor if you should make changes to your skin care routine.
What is the best way to clean dry, sensitive skin?
The best way to clean dry skin and prevent further irritation is by using a gentle moisturising cleanser free from harsh additives. To avoid further moisture loss and disruption to the skin’s protective barrier, gently cleanse your skin in lukewarm water with your hands or a soft wash cloth and pat to dry. Avoid rubbing and scrubbing.
How much of an effect does hydration have on my skin?
The skin is an organ like any other. In fact, it’s the largest organ in the body. All organs require water to function at their best. Hydration plays a significant role in the condition and health of the skin. In order to ensure the skin has enough water, drink at least 6 glasses of water daily.