Dry skin can be an unsightly, irritating and upsetting skin condition affecting anyone at any point in their lives.
But what makes skin that is normally looking great become a dry, flaky, red and itchy mess?
During the winter months, many people will see their skin become dry and itchy. This has become so common that it is known as the “winter itch”.
One of the reasons for this is because the winter air tends to draw moisture away from our skin, leaving it dry and irritated.
Indoors we fare no better; central heating is turned on to keep us warm and this can also have a similar effect. You may not have the option to turn down the heating, but you can try to keep the air moist at home by using a humidifier whilst you sleep.
Whilst moisturisers can be a big help in keeping your skin hydrated, they can also cause dry skin to become more irritated too!
For moisturiser to really work it should be applied to damp skin, this means that the it is trapping the moisture already in your skin. You should also be using the right type of cream or lotion. Whilst those creams that smell great are always the tempting choice the perfumes within them can irritate the skin.
Try to buy perfume and alcohol free options or better yet; make your own at home! There are plenty of recipes around!
That long inviting bath or shower
Whilst a shower or bath is the ideal way to warm up after a cold day, staying in there can mean that the natural oils on your skin are washed away. One way to tell if this is happening to you is if your skin feels tight after a bath or shower.
If this does happen to you then try to choose showers over baths where you can; and the worst news is that you should try to stay away from having the water too hot. Lukewarm is the best for your skin, although it might not be the most inviting for you.
Washing with soap
Following on from the above, soap is also a bath time culprit for dry skin. Soap is known to wash away those oils that protect your skin and as people we like to lather ourselves up to really feel clean!
Whilst soap in some form is needed to ensure that we wash away bacteria; for your skin it is important to pick gentler soaps that can still do the job. Mild, fragrance free soaps are the best to pick and you should to stay away from flannels and sponges too as these can be abrasive on the skin.
These are just a few causes of dry skin; medical conditions, clothes and even stress can also be triggers for these flare-ups. If you are worried about your skin it is important to visit your doctor to try and get to the bottom of what is causing the problems.