Dry skin plagues millions of people and has many causes. It can be caused by weather conditions, chemicals or topical products like makeup and cleansers, and even underlying medical conditions like dermatitis. This condition is marked by scaling, cracking, and itching in the dry areas. Some people have naturally dry skin, while others may only develop dry skin periodically.
Lack of moisture in the skin can affect almost any area of the body. It is most commonly found on hands, arms, legs, and feet. However, facial dryness is also an issue for a number of people. In a lot of cases, over-the-counter products and small lifestyle changes might be all that is required to resolve dry skin issues. Those with underlying medical conditions or actual dry skin conditions should consult a doctor for the best treatment options.
Dry Skin Causes
The causes of dry skin are vast, as mentioned above. Contact dermatitis refers to skin inflammation and dryness caused by a reaction to something that touches the skin, such as the acid in many face wash products or a bleaching agent. This can include allergic reactions to specific substances that result in inflammation and/or dryness, as well.
Eczema and psoriasis are two common skin conditions that result in dry, scaly skin patches on the body. These conditions could be the cause of your dry skin, or something else could have caused the conditions to occur. Eczema is more common among children for dry skin cause, but both conditions can affect people of all ages.
You might be surprised to learn that type 2 diabetes may also cause dry skin issues. Other risk factors include age, bathing habits, and medical history. Those who have a family history of skin conditions or allergies can be more prone to dry skin.
Dry Skin on Face
Dry skin on face is usually a result of overexposure to environmental factors or chemicals, such as using makeup products or harsh chemical cleansers to remove those products. A daily moisturizer that contains an SPF provides protection for your skin from dryness, and help prevent UV damage and other potential skin damage that could lead to dryness.
Dry Skin Patches
Dry skin patches can appear just about anywhere. These can be the result of many factors, just like any other dry skin problem. Typically, these patches are localized to the hands or feet, or perhaps even on joints. Some dry skin patches are the result of dehydration and poor nutrition. In this situation, do the following: add more vitamins and nutrients to your diet, and improve your water intake. This can provide a lot of natural relief from dry skin issues.
Dry Skin Around Eyes
Dry skin around eyes is usually an issue that comes with age. It can result in flaking, scaling, or even cracking of the skin around the eyes. Usually, this issue can be resolved with a topical cream or moisturizer designed for safe use around the eyes.
Dry Skin on Eyelid
Dry skin on eyelid can be especially irritating. You have to be able to open and close your eyes comfortably throughout the day. When you have dry or cracked skin, it can be difficult to treat on an area like the eyelids because you have to find products that are safe for use around the eyes. It’s best to moisturize your eyelids at night so that they can absorb the maximum moisture while you are sleeping.
Dry Skin in Ears
While most people have oily ears due to wax buildup, dry skin can occur in the ear canals and the folds of the ear itself. Again, dry skin in ear can be a tricky area to treat because of where it is located. Usually, a simple moisturizer does the trick. When outdoors in extreme weather, make sure to protect your ears to prevent as many issues as possible.
Dry Skin on Feet
As mentioned earlier, you may look down to see one of the most common areas for dry skin–dry skin on feet specifically. This is especially true for people who are required to wear closed-toed shoes that don’t allow feet to breathe for work (i.e., steel-toe boots). During the day, the feet sweat excessively, and moisture is absorbed by socks and shoes. Then, when they are removed, the feet are left dry. If not properly moisturized, this can become an ongoing issue. A simple lotion before bed should do the trick.
Dry Skin Around Mouth
Dry skin around mouth is usually related to weather exposure or seasonal dryness. Dehydration may also be a factor. Some people develop dry lips because they use lip moisturizer regularly. This causes their body’s own moisture production to slow down. You should make sure that you are drinking enough water, and use a moisturizing product designed to actually resolve dry skin issues.
Dry Skin Around Nose
Also known as the “t-zone,” your nose and forehead may be prone to dryness. Dry skin around nose can result in flaking and peeling around the nose. This is usually remedied with a topical moisturizer, so long as it is not the result of another condition.
Dry Skin Remedies
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different dry skin remedies. Finding the right remedy depends on the type of dryness you are facing and where the issues are occurring. Typically, lotion or moisturizer that includes vitamin E, humectants, retinoids, and/or hydrocortisone is most effective for topical treatment of dry skin.
Those who have underlying medical conditions may need to obtain prescription topical medications that include steroids. Other prescription ingredients could be designed to improve the moisture and health of the skin from the inside out. If topical treatments aren’t effective or your dry skin seems to persist no matter what you do, it is probably best to consult your doctor and get a referral to a dermatologist.
Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin
The best moisturizer for dry skin will contain ingredients like:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Glycerin and glycerol
- Alpha hydroxy acids
- Sunscreen (SPF 30+ recommended for best protection)
- Vitamins C, D, E, and/or K
- Cocoa butter or shea butter
- Fatty acids
- Coconut oil
The biggest difference between a moisturizer and lotion is that a moisturizer is designed for small applications. Usually, it is best for facial use.
Best Lotion for Dry Skin
Lotions and creams that provide more coverage are better suited for dry skin on the body where a larger area may be affected. The best lotion for dry skin contains ingredients similar to those listed above that are also found in moisturizers.