Dry Skin Symptoms...
What is Xerosis and what are the Symptoms
Xerosis, comes from the Greek, meaning Dry. Xerosis is the medical term for Dry Skin.
It can occur at any age, to different degrees and for many different reasons. Most people experience it at some stage in their life. Dry Skin or Xerosis is very common.
It is important to understand the causes to enable you to tailor a good routine for your particular skin. It usually becomes worse in the winter months or in cold climates and if left untreated it can lead to dermatitis or other skin conditions. It can be itchy, flaky, rough, tight and it can look rather unpleasant.
Dry Skin isn’t usually serious, but it can be an annoyance and unsightly and cause people to feel less confident in themselves.
Dry Skin (Xerosis) Causes
Xerosis is in layman’s term a lack of moisture in the upper most layer of the skin, the epidermis. Our skin, when working properly, regulates its moisture content. However, there are many factors, internal and external that can disrupt the regulation of the moisture or irritate the skin; such as:
· Poor hydration - Not enough water intake on a daily basis. Most of us should be drinking more water than we do.
· Aging - As we get older we tend to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants.
· Environment - When humidity is low in the winter and sometimes during a particularly hot summer.
· Pollution - Air pollution can dry our skin out.
· Washing the skin too frequently - Disrupts the skins natural balance. You should also not scrub too hard.
· Washing with harsh products - Like soaps, sanitizers, detergents.
· Itchy clothing - If your clothes cause you to itch this can cause dry skin.
· Sunlight - Over time, with prolonged exposure to the sun, this can cause permanent damage. – UV rays increase the water evaporation from the skin leaving it dry.
· Poor Diet or Malnutrition - We get a lot of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals from our food which supports our skin, so it is essential to eat a balanced, healthy diet.
· Medication– Can causes the body to become more dehydrated.
· Hormonal imbalance - Can affect flare-ups and dry skin patches
· Long Hot Baths/Shower– When we do this frequently, we dehydrate ourselves.
· Other medical issues– Such as diabetes and hypothyroidism can be a cause of dry skin.
Different Types of Dry Skin
· Psoriasis - is a fairly common skin disease marked by red, itchy, scaly patches. Psoriasis occurs when skin cells are replaced more quickly than usual. It is usually found on the elbows, knees and scalp but can affect other areas of the body. It tends to appear as red or pink small scaly bumps that merge into plaques of raised skin.
· Eczema - is also known as Dermatitis. The name Eczema comes from the Greek ‘ekzein’ which basically means ‘to boil. The condition varies quite dramatically depending on the individual. With mild cases of eczema, the skin is dry, scaly, red and itchy. In severe cases the skin can begin to crust and even weep and bleed. Eczema can occur in all ages, but it is primarily seen in children.
· Ichthyosis – see our full page on this
· Keratosis – see our full page on this