Although dry skin does not put you at risk for severe health problems, it can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing. There are many causes of dry skin from a change in climate to a lack of proper nutrients in your body.

Dry Skin Causes


  • Extremely dry or cold climates have less humidity in the air, which leads to drier skin due to lack of natural moisture.
  • The sun can also dry out your skin. Too much UV exposure will cause the top layers of your skin to burn and dry out.

Diet: If you are not incorporating enough healthy fats into your diet, this will show in your skin. Try to include foods like avocado, olive oil, and fish to keep your skin hydrated.


- Eczema: Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder that results in red, dry itchy skin.

- Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.

- Diabetes: Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s ability to produce insulin. Insulin keeps your blood sugar levels from getting too high. When your blood sugar gets too high, discolored patches can form on your skin.

Genetics: Some genetic mutations can make your skin more susceptible to dryness. For example, atopic eczema is linked to a genetic mutation that can be inherited.

Medications: If you have introduced a new medication into your routine, this can cause extra dryness. Retin-A, a medication typically used to treat acne, can cause skin redness, burning, excessively dry skin, and itching.

Products: The hand soaps, laundry detergents, and cleaning products you use in your everyday life may be irritating your skin as well. If the products you are using have fragrances, chemicals, and artificial colors they can all cause irritation and dryness.

Dry Skin Symptoms

Roughness: When skin gets too dry it can become red, scaly, and tough to the touch.

Itchiness: The lack of moisture and oils in your skin will cause your skin to feel irritated and itchy.

Flaking: When skin flakes, this means it is not properly hydrated and is getting rid of the skin cells that are dead and too dry.

Fissures: Fissures are described as tiny cracks on the skin typically found on the backs of hands.

Cracked Skin: When your skin is incredibly dry, it loses its elasticity and when skin is stretched it can crack. Cracks are typically found on the backs of ankles and knuckles.

10 Treatments/Tips for Relieving Dry Skin

1) Limit Shower Time: Showers or baths that last longer than 10 minutes pull out the natural oils in your skin, resulting in dry patches. Keep your time under 10 minutes to ensure you are not stripping your body of its natural moisture.

2) Moisturize Immediately After Washing: When showering, water causes your skin cells to expand and your pores to open. Be sure to apply lotion right after the shower when pores are larger and can lock in extra moisture.

3) Use a Humidifier: If you are living in a dry climate, using a humidifier will add more moisture into your air to soothe dry skin. Keep the humidifier on throughout the night to help cure dry skin on your face overnight.

4) Use Ointments and Creams Instead of Lotion: Ointments and creams are considered to be more effective than lotion as they do not contain ingredients that can irritate your skin further. Ointments that contain jojoba or olive oil are especially effective.

5) Opt for Gentle and Unscented Skin Care Products: Products that contain alcohols and fragrances are too harsh to be used on dry skin. By switching to more natural products, your skin will be able to retain moisture

6) Wear Non-Irritating Clothes: Fabrics like wool and nylon can bother the dry patches of your skin that you are suffering from. Switch to wearing cotton, silk, or other non-irritating materials that will allow your skin to breathe and heal.

7) Wear Lip Balm: Use a lip balm that feels good on your lips and does not create a stinging or tingling sensation. These balms are too harsh for your lips and will lead to extra dryness.

8) Use Hyaluronic Acid: To get rid of dry skin on your face, you can apply hyaluronic acid which has hydrating and anti-aging properties.

9) Take Supplements: Supplements that contain fatty acids will help your skin in developing a smooth,
flat, and moisturized appearance. Fish oil and flaxseed vitamins are the best in aiding dry skin.

10) Wear gloves: Wear gloves whenever your hands are going to be exposed to harsh environments (dry climates, chemicals, cleaning supplies) to avoid irritation, cracking, and redness.

Author's Bio: 

Ronak Desai is the Co-Founder of Apotheco Pharmacy Group, a leading Dermatology Pharmacy. He oversees the development and execution of corporate strategies with a focus on Pharmacy growth and development.