Dry Skin

Professional Relief for Dry Skin

Nearly everyone will be affected by dry skin at some point in his or her life. Skin that feels dry to the touch lacks sufficient moisture within the stratum corneum (the outer cell layer). It appears dull, and may also be rough, scaly, cracked, and inflamed. This can lead to itchiness, soreness, intense discomfort, and cracks within the surface of the skin. Dry skin can affect men, women, and children, and becomes increasingly common with age. In fact, by age 60, the entire human population is affected to some extent. Allegheny Advanced Dermatology Center provides professional treatment for dry skin that occurs naturally and as a result of a multitude of diseases and conditions. Let us help you find relief.

What Causes Dry Skin?

There are numerous environmental conditions and disease processes that can lead to the development of dry skin and accompanying complications. Those who live in particularly dry climates (such as the desert) or who are exposed to windy, cold air are much more likely to require preventive measures to avoid developing dry skin and to treat it when it occurs. Some overlooked causes of dry skin include:

  • A Low Humidity Environment (Including Indoor Air Conditioning)
  • Exposure to Direct Heat (Heaters, Fires, etc.)
  • Excessive Bathing
  • Exposure to Soap, Detergents, Alcohols, and Oil Solvents
  • Skin Irritation (Wool Clothing, Abrasive Materials, etc.)

Diseases and Conditions That Cause Dry Skin

When dry skin develops in the absence of a dry or harsh environment, it is often the result of an underlying medical condition or disease. This is true particularly when the dry skin develops later in life. If severe dryness manifests in early childhood, ichthyosis may be the culprit. This “fish-scale” skin condition may be inherited or acquired, and effective treatments are available. Some of the most common medical-related causes of dry skin in adults include:

  • Menopause and Post-menopause
  • Renal Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Dermatitis
  • Malnutrition
  • Medications (including Diuretics, Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitors, and Retinoids)

How To Reduce the Severity of Dry Skin

Dry skin can result in exposure to viruses, fungi, and bacteria through cracks in the skin’s protective surface. In addition to the medications that your doctor has prescribed, the following tips are generally helpful to reduce the duration and severity of dry skin outbreaks: reduce bathing frequency, use a humidifier, shower instead of bathe, use lukewarm water, use soap alternatives (emollients, bath oils, tar oils, colloidal oatmeal, synthetic cleansers, etc.), and apply ample emollients throughout the day and night, particularly after showering or when the skin feels itchy or irritated.

Contact Allegheny Advanced Dermatology Center to schedule an appointment. We treat all types of dry skin, including ichthyosis, as well as environmental, acquired, and inherited conditions. Call: (814) 944-7109.