We can’t always blame it on the weather. While it is definitely valid that cold, dry air in the winter contributes to a drier than normal complexion, there may be more factors to consider. Determining what is causing your dry skin as well as distinguishing the type of dry skin you have can significantly improve your chances of a more nourished look.
Dry skin is not only less attractive, but it can also be quite uncomfortable. Most people with dry skin experience itchiness, tightness, flaking, inflammation and/or cracking. These symptoms are better explained by taking a closer look at the make up of our skin. A mix of mostly sebum and sweat protects the top layer of the skin, or stratum corneum. Dry or dehydrated skin occurs when the top layer gets damaged and moisture escapes.
When you see a dermatologist for dry skin, the first step will likely be to determine if you have dry skin or dehydrated skin. While they may seem to be the same thing, the difference can control your treatment plan.
- Dry skin is a skin type that refers to a lack of oil in the skin. It is commonly a result of genetics, underactive thyroid, a hormonal imbalance, etc.
- Dehydrated skin, however, is actually a skin condition that refers to a lack of moisture in the top layer of the skin. This one you can blame on the winter weather. Dehydrated skin is temporary and easily treated. It is caused by external elements.
There are several factors that cause dry or dehydrated skin. The three most common reasons are aging, environmental elements and lifestyle. It is important to note that our body’s natural ability to hydrate the skin decreases as we age, which is out of our control. However, there are certain lifestyle factors that can leave your skin extra dry. Alcoholic beverages, certain medications as well as “fat-free” diets may be what you need to limit for a moistened complexion.
When suffering from either dry or dehydrated skin, address your concerns with a board certified dermatologist. There are countless moisturizing lotions and creams to choose from and many skin products can make your condition worse if you are not careful. Whether it is a temporary discomfort or lifelong battle, Olansky Dermatology Associates can treat your dry skin.