What Causes Dry Skin?

Why do some people have dry skin? We'll explain. Learn what to avoid and what products and habits can help to have healthier, nicer-looking skin.

Dry Skin Causes: How to Prevent Dryness

Dry skin can affect people of all ages. Understanding what causes dry skin is the first step towards treating it and potentially even preventing it from occurring. There are more factors that contribute to dry skin than people realize. In this article, we will walk you through the main causes of dry skin, identifying obvious causes along with more obscure ones. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

How Weather can cause dry skin

One of the main contributors to dry skin is weather. People are more prone to dry skin during the winter due to the lack of humidity. Those living in dryer climates, like a desert for example, are also more prone to dry skin for the same reason. When the air around you is dry, the water in your skin will evaporate more quickly. That’s why it is important to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is the best way to prevent dry skin caused by the weather.

How Heat affects dry skin

Similar to weather, heat can cause dry skin to occur. Heat sources like fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, central heating, and even space heaters will reduce the humidity in the air around you and ultimately dry out your skin. Again, staying hydrated will help you prevent dry skin in this scenario. Another trick you can use for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces would be to place a pot of water on top of them. The water will evaporate into the air, creating a more a humid environment. With more moisture in the air, your skin will be more moisturized as well.

How Swimming can cause dry skin

Do you find yourself spending hours a day during the summer in the pool? If this describes you, then you may have just discovered the reason why you suffer from dry skin. Most pools are pumped with chemicals to keep them smelling and looking clean. Your skin often reacts negatively to these chemicals and dries out in the process. It’s important to keep hydrated while swimming to counteract the effect these chemicals have. Showering after you swim will also help get these chemicals off and limit their harmfulness.

Why to avoid Harsh Detergents/Soaps with dry skin

Some laundry detergents and soaps are created with such harsh chemicals that they can also be the source of your dry skin. Many of them are designed to remove oil, which in turn strips your skin of moisture. Laundry detergents also have the ability to trigger a condition called contact dermatitis, which is essentially dry patches of irritated skin. This happens because these products are often packed with dyes, fragrances and other intense chemicals. Luckily, there are a number of soaps and laundry detergents out there now that are made with more natural ingredients and therefore are less likely to cause dry skin. Some will even moisturize your skin as they clean. As always, its best to read a products’ label thoroughly before you purchase it.

do you have Eczema or Psoriasis, which can cause dry skin?

You are more prone to having dry skin if you suffer from skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. If you have persistent problems with dry skin, it’s wise to seek professional help from a dermatologist. They will be able to identify whether or not you have any of these skin conditions or other ones not mentioned here. They will also be able to prescribe medicines and creams to be able to properly treat those conditions.

can Allergic Reactions cause dry skin?

When your skin comes in contact with a substance you are allergic to, your skin may react by becoming dry and flaky. Allergens that are commonly known for causing dry skin include pollen, grass, animal dander, and dust mites. The best way to avoid getting dry skin from an allergic reaction is to avoid coming in contact with the substance you are allergic to. Since we realize this is nearly impossible sometimes, over the counter allergy medicines are also helpful.

Wrap Up: How can you avoid and treat dry skin?

As you can see, there are a plethora of possible causes for dry skin. Your skin can become dry and flaky as a result of the weather, the heat, swimming, harsh detergents, eczema, psoriasis, or even allergic reactions. Now that you have a better understanding as to what might be causing your dry skin, you'll be able to figure out how to best treat your dry skin.

Resources— MayoClinic, Healthline