Thursday, August 12

Skin care - What causes dry skin

Causes of dry skinWhat is dry skin?MoisturizersHomemade face moisturizer recipeOily epidermis treatments
Dry skin causes can be either external or internal, which have to be addressed specifically for relief. There are many factors and causes inducing dry skin condition and some of them are dietary deficiencies, weather elements and sun exposure, frequent baths and harsh soaps, hormonal deficiencies, genetic factors and skin diseases.
The causes of dry skin can be corrected easily by removing the affecting factors.
However the internal factors, especially diseases, take long term medical management.

Dry skin causes: dietary deficiencies

This condition can result very easily when there is insufficient intake of water or dehydration of body cells.
The deficiencies of B-complex vitamins and vitamin A have been found to be causes of dry skin.
Riboflavin deficiency leads to cracks in the corner of the mouth.
Higher amounts of alcohol, caffeine and fried food are likely causes of dry skin.
Irregular food habits and smoking lead to chronic xeroderma.

Dry skin causes: weather and sun exposure

Winter leads to xeroderma condition as the epidermis loses water due to lowest humidity levels prevailing in winter.
There is a mistaken notion that winter with its cold conditions is rich in moisture; but the reverse is true.
Winter winds are dry and whatever moisture in it is already deposited as snow.
A good example is the refrigerator, wherein if a plump tomato is left in circulating air, it appears shriveled after some time due to loss of water.
Similarly hot air can also be devastating for the epidermis, robbing it of its moisture as it happens in desert regions.
Pollutants, smoke, dust and high levels of ozone can be causes of dry skin condition.
Lack of balanced diet along with malnutrition results in xeroderma.
Direct sunlight by its heating effect dehydrates the epidermis.
Longer exposure also damages the inner dermis cells affecting their functions in moisturizing the epidermis.
The deeper collagen and elastin tissues are also damaged due to long exposures to sunlight; this causes wrinkles and increase in surface area for evaporation.
Sunstroke and heatstroke leads to xeroderma.

Dry skin causes: low humidity induced by air-conditioning and heating

When there is low humidity (low concentration of moisture in air) epidermis may easily lose its moisture, especially when the protective mantle is damaged or disturbed.
Apart from winter, reasons of low humidity can be due to air-conditioning, central heating, fireplaces, space heaters and furnaces.
In these situations the conditions can be greatly improved by installation of humidifiers.

Dry skin causes: frequent baths and chemicals in water

Bath tends to remove the protective mantle of the epidermis.
However to keep our skin from excess of sebum, dead cells and bacteria bath is required.
Too frequent baths or showers remove much of the protecting sebum layers resulting in xerosis conditions.
Hot baths and bathing for long time also damages the lipid barriers.
Heavily chlorinated bath water or swimming pool can also damage the protective layer leading to xerosis.

Dry skin causes: detergents, harsh soaps, shampoos, wrong moisturizers and makeup

Most of the bath soaps and detergents are alkaline in nature.
The protective lipid layer of the epidermis is acidic in nature and it gets neutralised and damaged by the harsh alkaline soaps.
Most of the anti-bacterial preparations, deodorants and shampoos are made to give the proclaimed results, but are devastating for the protective lipid layer.
Use of unsuitable cleansers, toners, moisturizers and make-up are major reasons for xeroderma.
Cosmetics made for oily skin conditions when applied on normal epidermis may take away extra moisture and oil causing xerosis.
Many of the chemical ingredients in cosmetics can be the causes of xeroderma.
Mineral oils and pH balancers damage acid mantle protecting the epidermis.

Dry skin causes: aging process

With old age the collagen and elastin tissues become thinner; adding to this condition is the decreased out put of sebum due declining androgen secretion.
The loss of sebum layer leads to xerosis conditions in the aged.

Dry skin causes: hypothyroidism and hormonal imbalance

Thyroid disorder like hypothyroidism causes decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.
The activity of the sebaceous glands and sweat glands is reduced in the absence of thyroid hormones and causes scaly skin.
Hormonal imbalance also causes dry skin.
Many women experience oily or dry skin conditions at some stage of their pregnancy due to changing hormonal profile.
Persons with affected androgen production experience lowered sebum production and xerosis.
Hormonal imbalances of progesterone and estrogen during menopause drastically reduces the sebum production.

Dry skin causes: genetic factors, diseases and skin ailments

Many people are genetically prone to xerosis.
Due to certain genetic diseases androgen production is reduced resulting in xerosis.
Ichthyoses are mostly genetic skin disorders. All these disorders are characterised by thickened, flaky or scaly epidermis.
The most common among them is ichthyosis vulgaris accounting for nearly 95% of cases.
In such genetic disorders even infants can have severe dry skin.
Diseases, especially skin diseases, lead to xerosis. Kidney ailments, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, sarcoidosis, chemical poisoning, rubbing of chemicals like alcohol and kerosene, Anorexia Nervosa, HIV/AIDS, Sjogren's syndrome, Hodgkins' disease, cancer, chronic diarrhea, pituitary deficiency, allergies, seborrhea, eczema, lichen infection, dermatitis, fungal skin infections and psoriasis are major medical causes of xerosis.
Sebaceous glands
Certain antihistamines, antispasmodics, retinoids, cholesterol lowering drugs (niacin) and diuretics can lead to dry skin.

Lack of exercise, lack of sleep and poor blood circulation are some of the causes of dry skin.
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