5 Main Causes of Dry Skin and How to Avoid Them

Suffering from dry skin? We can help. Here's what causes dry skin and how to avoid it

The lowdown on the culprits that can cause dry skin

Dry skin is something many people might dismiss. The market for skincare usually has products that call out to people with oiliness or acne-prone skin. If you have itchy skin or skin that ends up cracking and scaling, chances are it has the dry condition. There are several reasons that can explain dry skin, but you might not be certain unless you consult your dermatologist. Nonetheless, here are some risk factors that might be behind your dry skin.


This is the medical term for skin that's extremely dry.  Dermatitis can be caused by exposure to irritants, production of too much oil, or stress. There are three types currently known: atopic, seborrheic, and contact dermatitis. These forms can affect anyone, but some might target children or infants. If you have kids that show the symptoms that will be described below, make sure to consult your dermatologist immediately.

Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin gets inflamed due to touching an irritant. The latter could range from bleach to nickel; basically any material or substance you might be allergic to. It helps to know your status early on so that you'll know which things to avoid in your daily routine. Doing so ensures that contact dermatitis won't get triggered wherever you are.

Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by the overproduction of sebum or oil from your skin's glands. It manifests on the scalp as red and scaly patches, so check if you have those. This condition has been observed to be more common in infants, but you can never be too careful. Seborrheic dermatitis may go away without treatment, but it's always better to use topical creams and other dermatologist-approved treatment forms for it.

Atopic dermatitis, known better as eczema, causes the skin with dry and scaly patches. Eczema can be caused by stress, but scientists are still unsure of what exactly causes this condition. To prevent eczema from flaring up, ask your doctor about what triggers it. Do not get yourself overheated and make sure to moisturize daily with a cream designed to relieve eczema.

Excessive Washing

If you're sure you don't have dermatitis, your bathing habits might be the cause of your dry skin. Are you showering too much? Maybe you use hot water often in bathing. Washing too much can strip the skin of essential oils that keep moisture locked in. Once these oils are gone, your face can dry out. Hot water can remove these oils from your skin too, so make sure to regulate your use of it, and avoid washing your face in the shower.

Harsh Soaps And Fragrances

The products you use on your skin could also be a factor. Make sure that the soaps you lather on yourself during bathtime or the moisturizers and other skincare products you use don't have any harsh ingredients that might leave your skin dry. The same goes for deodorants. As a safety measure, use those that are fragrance-free since fragrances are known to irritate and dry out the skin.


Aging also causes dry skin, because your pores naturally lose oil as you grow older. You might think there's not much you can do with dry skin due to aging, but several products are available to help remedy this condition. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to wear sunscreen with enough protection from ultraviolet rays. Exposing yourself to the latter could make skin aging effects more visible, which is something the sunscreen can avert. Keep this in mind the next time you head out to the beach or go camping.

Seasonal Exposure

Speaking of the outdoors, the seasons also are risk factors of dry skin. In summer, the heat could cause your skin to get dehydrated, leaving it dry. Make sure to moisturize and use the sunscreen tip mentioned above. In winter, the cold temperature and winds could strip your face of moisture, resulting in similar dryness that you might get if exposed to summer. Use a moisturizing spray to ward off dryness.

Dry Skin, Demystified

Now, you may have learned enough to know what causes dry skin and how it can be managed. Just remember to talk with a skin expert so that you'll know whether it's due to a habit you're doing or if it's a medical condition you have. Only then would you be able to approach your dry skin problem with the right solution.

Resources — Healthline, WebMD, Everyday Health

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