What causes dry skin (dermatitis)?
Dry skin is most common in climates that have low humidity and cold conditions so dry skin isn’t as common in Florida. That makes it even more important to look out for if you’re experiencing dry skin issues. Other than the climate the following may cause abnormally dry skin:
- Too much bathing.
- Taking long, hot showers or baths
- Scrubbing your skin too much.
- Bathing more than once a day can remove the natural oils from your skin.
Dermatitis is the medical term for extremely dry skin. There are several different types of dermatitis.
- Contact dermatitis: Irritant contact dermatitis can occur when your skin’s exposed to an irritating chemical agent, such as bleach.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: Occurs when your skin produces too much oil. It results in a red and scaly rash, usually on your scalp.
- Atopic dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. It’s a chronic skin condition that causes dry scaly patches to appear on your skin.
- flaky or rough texture of the skin
- excessive itchiness
- skin burns or stings
- peeling skin
How to treat dermatitis:
Dry skin is very common, especially with age. Most people over the age of 60 will struggle with dry skin. That being said, severe dry skin may need to be looked at by a professional as it may cause great discomfort. Dr. Vitaly Blatnoy at the Orlando Dermatology Center recommends scheduling an appointment to have your skin examined as the causes could include medications, age, skin barrier deficiency, chemotherapy, diabetes, thyroid disease, or vitamin deficiencies.
How to prevent dry skin:
Prevention could be as simple as using moisturizer and reducing the heat of your showers and baths. The most easy way to reduce problematic skin is by proper maintenance. If you’re traveling to a colder climate be sure to wear more moisturizer to keep your skin from drying out. Extremely hot showers can cause your skin to dry out so reducing the heat and putting on moisturizer immediately after drying off can help most cases of dry skin.
As a general rule, the following shower etiquette this can prevent dry skin:
- Close the bathroom door to increase humidity.
- Use warm, not hot, water.
- Max shower time should be 10 min.
- Wash with a gentle cleanser.
- Blot your skin gently dry with a towel, don’t rub.
- Put moisturizer on immediately after drying off your skin.
Using fragrance free skincare, balms instead of oils, and wearing lip balm can also help. If your skin is having severe reactions and is so dry that it is causing rashes and discomfort, the best course of action is to contact a dermatologist.