Thursday, August 12

What is dry skin - Dry skin problems and conditions

What is dry skin - Conditions and problems What causes dry skin?MoisturizersHomemade face moisturizer recipeOily skin treatments

What is dry skin(xerosis or xeroderma)

The medical term for dry skin is Xerosis cutis. Xerosis conditions and problems results from insufficient moisture in the stratum corneum (outermost layer of epidermis). Xerosis results when the capacity of stratum corneum to hold back moisture is lost and is unable to protect the inner layers from losing water. Knowing what causes dry skin (xerodrma or xerosis) help us in taking preventive measures, alleviating the conditions and finding treatments and remedies. The outer most layer of epidermis region of our skin (stratum corneum) is made up of dead cells embedded in natural oils (sebum) secreted by underlying cells of epidermis.
This protective layer of sebum, holds back the epidermis moisture from evaporating into atmosphere and also protects epidermis from entry of harmful substances and germs.

Dry skin problems and conditions

The affected region has red, parched, dull or flaky look and the affected person feels skin tightness and itching.
Problems like extreme itchiness may overwhelm the affected person and can causes him sleepless nights.
The affected area in extreme conditions may show wrinkles, cracking, chapping, bleeding, and dermatitis.
In chronic conditions thin expression lines may form on the forehead, near the eyes and the corner of mouth.
These conditions are exacerbated by frequent baths, air-conditioning, cold winds and room heating.
These problems are found to affect both men and women equally.
Elderly people are more prone to get xerosis due to falling secretions of sebum.
Persons whose occupation requires frequent wetting of hands or body and persons working in cold or hot draught of wind may also get xeroderma if proper protective measures are not taken.
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Usually hands, arms, legs, feet and sides of the abdomen are first affected. There are various levels of severity of xerosis.
It conditions may be temporary, as in the case of winter dry skin and it may last for a few days to few months.
Xerosis conditions caused by environmental factors and use of wrong moisturizers can be alleviated and corrected by certain corrective measures including use of right moisturizers.

Severe dry skin conditions due to health problems

However severe to very severe xerosis problems can be caused by skin diseases and other health problems.
Hormonal imbalances and hormonal deficiencies may also give rise to xerosis as sebum production is linked to androgen secretion.
These types of xeroderma conditions have to be tackled at the root cause level and the disease behind it has to be treated in order to get lasting relief. Very severe dry skin problems are caused by certain genetic disorders (Ichthyosis) and only some measures can be taken to get some relief from these problems and cure is still a distant hope with all the research going on.

Though severe and chronic dry skin problems require evaluation by a dermatologist, understanding the root causes of dry skin conditions can helps us in taking certain preventive measures to alleviate the problems.
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