What is dry skin?
Dry skin can be an uncomfortable condition, but is usually only temporary. Even if you have typically oily skin, you can develop dry skin from time to time.
Dry skin can affect any part of your body but commonly affects hands, arms, and legs.
In many cases, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers may be all you need to treat it. If those treatments aren’t enough, you should contact your doctor.
What causes dry skin?
A number of things can cause your skin to dry out including exposure to dry weather, hot water and certain chemicals. Dry skin can also result from underlying medical conditions.
What are the risk factors for dry skin?
Although dry skin can affect anyone there are certain factors that increase your chances of developing dry skin, including:
- Age. Older adults are more likely to develop dry skin. As you age, your pores naturally produce less oil, raising your risk of dry skin.
- Medical history. You’re more likely to experience eczema or allergic contact dermatitis if you have a history of these conditions or other allergic diseases in your family.
- Season. Dry skin is more common during the fall and winter months, when humidity levels are relatively low. In the summer, higher levels of humidity help stop your skin from drying out.
- Bathing habits. Taking frequent baths or washing with very hot water raises your risk of dry skin.