Dry skin occurs to all of us at some time, depending on where we’re at and what we’re doing. Dry skin is also known as xerosis. Some of us get dry skin after being outdoors too long, being around harsh chemicals or being in water and some have dry skin all the time. Some of the people may have been born with dry skin and others may have developed it from their hands coming in contact with conditions and situations that bring on dry skin and dry skin conditions. As the skin dries out, our cells contract and shrivel, causing us to develop wrinkles and fine lines. Sometimes by time we are aware of these fine lines and wrinkles, it’s too late to do anything about them.
Dry skin conditions occur when our skin does not have the normal amount of moisture and natural oils it needs to stay soft, moist and healthy. Certain conditions such as overexposure to the sun, cold winter months or harsh chemicals tend to take out the moisture and oils and leave us with dry skin, which lead to dry skin conditions. Everyone knows that the hot summer months can be very hard on our skin. What many don’t know is that the winter months can be even harder on our skin. Because there is not as much humidity in the winter, we lose a lot of moisture and oils in our skin, making them very dry and very susceptible to dry skin conditions. Other conditions that can lead us to getting dry skin are under-hydration, air conditioning and excess bathing. All of these things remove the natural oils that are important to our skin.
Ichthyosis is a more serious skin condition where the individual has scales on their body similar to scales on a fish. The main cause of this is that the skin doesn’t shed as it should but rather accumulates into scales. This genetic skin condition requires the care of a dermatologist. Individuals with ichthyosis resemble leprosy patients. Treatment involves a biopsy of the skin as well as a history of the family. There are many types of Ichthyosis and it’s a disease that affects dogs.
Other common dry skin conditions include psoriasis, eczema and types of dermatitis. Psoriasis is a condition where the individual is affected with red skin, and dry scales that look like dandruff. In more severe cases of psoriasis, the skin may even form pus-filled blisters or crack and bleed. This chronic disease is always there. It may subside for a while and then flare up again. Psoriasis is most common with people between the ages of 15 and 35.
Many risk factors can determine if a person is more prone to dry skin conditions such as genetics, smoking, age, outdoor activities, sex and amount of bathing or showers.